tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN December 21, 2012 2:00pm-8:00pm EST
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the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. loving god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. as this chamber lies silent and members disperse to celebrate the holy days with their families, we ask your blessing upon them and upon us all. ask that pressures hang over them and our nation during these days of quiet, send an abun das of -- an abundance of your gifts of knowledge, understanding and goodlogical, that the concerns of america's citizens might be assuaged by good policy and solutions that will guarantee a secure future. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's protings and announces to
the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1rk the journal stands approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the chair lays before the house a privileged concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 146, resolved that when the house adjourns on the legislative day of friday, december 21, 2012, on a motion offered pursuant to this concurrent resolution by its majority leader or his designee, it stand adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on thursday, december 27, 2012, or until the time of any reassembly pursuant to section 2 of this concurrent resolution, which ever occurs first. and that when the senate
recesses or adjourns on the legislative day of friday, december 21, 2012, or saturday, december 22, 2012, on a motion offered pursuant to this concurrent resolution by its majority leader or his designee, it stand recessed or adjourned until noon on thursday, december 27, 2012, or such other time on that day as may be specified in the motion to recess or adjourn or until the time of any reassembly pursuant to section 2 of this concurrent resolution, which ever occurs first. section 2. the speaker of the house and the majority leader of the senate or their respective designees acting jointly after consultation with the minority leader of the house and the minority leader of the senate shall notify the members of the house and the senate respectively to reassemble at such place and time as they may designate if in their opinion the public interest shall warrant it.
the speaker: without objection, the concurrent resolution is agreed to and a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on december 21, 2012, at 1:37 p.m. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 443, that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4053, that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 6671, that the senate passed senate 2388. with best wished i am, signed, sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker: the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill.
the clerk: h.r. 5837, an act to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 26 east genesee street in baldwinsville, new york, as the corporal kyle schneider post office building. the speaker: without objection, when the house adjourns today it shall adjourn to meet at noon on monday, december 24, 2012, unless it sooner has received a message from the senate transmitting its concurrence in house concurrent resolution 146. in which case the house shall stand adjourned pursuant to that concurrent resolution. without objection, the house stands adjourned pursuant to that order.
>> good morning. i'm president of the national rifle association of america and i'd like to welcome you here this morning for the purposes of beginning our discussion of the pop i can that's been on the minds of american parents across this country. and that is what do we do about the tragedies of the sort that struck in newtown connecticut to avoid such events in the future. like most americans, we were shocked by what happened. like all americans, we've been discussing all of the various options that are available to protect our children. and at this point we would like to share our thinking with you. and for that purpose i'd like to introduce wayne lapierre,
our executive vice president. thank you for being with us. at the end of this conference we will not be taking questions but next week we will be available to any of you who are interested in talking about these or other issues of interest to you so contact us at that point. thank you very much. wayne. >> good morning. the national rifle association, 4 million mothers, father's, sons and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayer for the families of newtown, connecticut who have suffered
such an incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime. out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the n.r.a. has refrained from comment. while some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectively silent. now we must speak for the safety of our nation's children. because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody has addressed the most important pressing and immediate question we face, how do we protect our
children right now, starting today n a way that we know works? the only way to answer that question is to face the truth. politicians pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them. they post signs advertising them. and in doing so, they tell every insane killer in america that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. how have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? think about it. we care about our money so we
protect our banks with armed guards. american airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums are all protected by armed security. we care about our president so we protect him with armed secret service agents. members of congress work in offices surrounded by capitol police officers. yet when it comes to our most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the american family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless.
children. >> the truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters, people that are so deranged, so evil, so possesed by voices and driven by deem mons that no sean person can ever possible comprehend them. they walk among us every single day. and does anybody really believe that the next add adam lanza isn't planning his next attack on a school he's already identified at this moment? how many more caller: cats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine
that awards them with wall to wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave while provoking others to try to make their mark? a dozen more killers, a hundred more. how can we possibly even guess how many given our nation's refuse toll create an active national data base of the mentally ill? the fact is this, that wouldn't even begin to address the much larger more lethal criminal class, killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation. meanwhile, while that happens, federal gun prosecutions have
decreased by 40% to the lowest levels in a decade. so now due to a declined willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years. add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man maid disaster and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victim myization. and here is another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal. there exists in this country, sadly, a callous corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people.
through vicious, violent video games with names like bullet storm, grand theft auto, mortle combat and splatter house. and here is one, it's called kindergarten killers. it's been online for 10 years. how come my research staff can find it and all of yours couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it? add another hurricane, add another natural disaster, we have flood soaked films out there like american psycho, natural born killers that are
aired like propaganda loops on splatter days and every single day. a thousand music videos and you all know this portray life as a joke and they play -- portray murder as a way of life. and then they all have the nerve to call it entertainment. but is that what it really is? isn't fant sizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filingtiest form of pornography? in a race to the bottom media con glom rats compete to shock, violate and offend every standard of society by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and cruelty right into our homes, every
minute, every day, every hour of every single year. a child growing up in america today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old anal of 18. and throughout it -- age of 18 and throughout it all their corporate owners and stomach holders act as silent enablers if not co-con spirtors. rather than face their own failing, they demonize gun owners. >> the n.r.a. has blood on its hands. shame on the n.h.a.
ban assault weapons now. ban assault weapons now. n.r.a. stop killing our children. stop the reckless behavior of the nra. we need gun control now. >> rather than face their own moral failing the media demonize lawful gun owners and want more laws and fill the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee the next atrocity is only a news cycle away. the media calls semiautomatic firearms machine guns. they claim these civilian semiautomatic firearms are used by the military.
they tell us that the 223 surround one of the most powerful rifle calibers when all of these claims are factly untrue. they don't know what they are talking about. worse they pert wait the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one more law imposed on pieceful lawful people will protect us where 20,000 other laws have failed. as brave and heroic and as self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those class rooms and as prompt and professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable, through no fault of their own, unable to stop it. as parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. it's now time for us to assume
responsibility for our schools. the only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from a minute away? now, i can imagine the headlines, the shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow. more guns you'll claim are the n.r.a.'s answer to everything. you're implication will be that guns are evil and have no place
in society, much less in our schools. but since when did the gun automatically become a bad word? a gun in the hands of a secret service agent protecting our president isn't a bad word. a gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the united states of america isn't a bad word. and when you hear your glass breaking at 3:00 a.m. and you called 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you. so why is the idea of a gun good when it's used to protect the president of our country or
our police but bad when it's used to protect our children in our schools? there are kids -- they're our kids. they're our responsibility and it's not just our duty to prtect them, it's our right to protect them. five years ago after the virginia tech tragedy when i said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. but what if, what if when adam lanza started shooting his way into sandy hook elementary school last friday he had been confronted by qualified armed
security? will you at least admit it's possible that 26 little kids, that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day? sit so abhorrent to you that you'd rather continue to risk the alternative? is the press and the political class here in washington d.c. so consumed by fear and hatred of the n.r.a. and american gun owners that you're willing to accept a world where real resistence to evil monssters is alone, unarmed, school principal left to vender her life, her life to shield those children in her care?
no one, no one regardless of personal, political prejudice has the right to impose that sacrifice. ladies and gentlemen, there's no national one side fits all solution to protecting our children. but do know this president see road out school emergency planning grants in last year's budget and scrapped secure our schools policing grants in next year's budget. with all the foreign aid the united states does, with all the money in the federal budget, can't we afford to put a police officer in every single school? even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability and the
moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm. now the national rifle association knows there are millions of qualified active and retired police. active reserve and retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security professionals, rescue personnel an extraordinary corp of qualified patriot citizens to join with school officials and police in devicing a protection plan for every single school. we can deploy them to protect our kids now. we can immediately make america's schools safer relying on the brave men and women in america's police forces. the budgets and you all know
this of our local police departments are strained and the resources are severely limited. but their dedication and courage is second to none and they can be deployed right now. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation and to do it now, to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in january. before congress reconvenience, before we engage in any lelingtthi debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in america immediately deploy a protection program proven to work and by
that i mean armed security. right now today, every school in the united states should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers, local authorities and draw upon every resource that's out there and available to erect accorden of protection around our kids right now. every school is going to have a different solution based on its own unique situation. every school in america needs to identify dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. the national rifle association as the premier trainer of security personnel is ready
willing and uniquely qualified to help. our training programs are the most advanced in the world. that expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. we did it for our nation's defense industries and military installations during world war ii. we did it for very young kids with our eddie child safety program that is in schools throughout the country now and will do it again today. the n.r.a. is going to bring all its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model national school shield emergency response program for every single school in america that wants it. from armed security to building design and access control torks information technology, to student and teacher training,
this multifaceted program will be developed by the very best experts in the field. former congressman asa hutchinson will lead the effort as national director of the national model school shield program with a budget provided by the n.r.a. of whatever scope the task requires. his experience as director of the drug enforcement agency and under secretary of the department of homeland security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts that are available in the united states of america to get this program up and running from the first day forward. if we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our
sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible. and that security is only available with properly trained armed good guys. under asa's leadership, our team of security experts will make this program available for the world for protecting our children at school and will make that program available to every single school in america free of charge. that's a plan of action that can and will make a real positive indisputeable difference in the safety of our children and it will start right now. there is going to be a lot of time for talk and debate later. this is a time, this is a day for decisive action. we can't wait for the next
unspeakable crime to happen before we act. we can't lose precious time debating legislation that won't work. we munt allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. we must act now for the sake of every child in america. i call on every parent, i call on every teacher, i call on every school administrator, every law enforcement officer in this country to join with us and help create a national school shield safety program to protect our children with the only positive line of defense that is tested and proven to work. now to tell you more about the program, i'd like to introduce the head of the effort, former u.s. congressman, former u.s. attorney for the western
district of arkansas, and former administrator of the u.s. drug enforcement agency, the honorable congressman asa hutchinson. >> thank you. one of the first responsibilities i learned at homeland security it was importance of protecting our nation's critical infrastructure. and there is nothing more critical to our nation's well being than our children's safety. they are this country's future and our most precious resource. we all understand that our children should be safe in school. but it is also essential that the parents understand and have confidence in that safety.
as a result of the tragedy in newtown connecticut that confidence across this nation has been shattered. assurance of school safety must be restored with a sense of urgency. that is why i am greath grateful that the national rifle association has asked me to lead a team of security experts to assist our schools, parents and our communities. i took this assignment on one condition, that my team of experts will be inpend and will be guided solely by what are the best security solutions for the safety of our children while at school. even though we are just starting this process, i envision this initiative will have two key elements. first of all, it will be based on a model security plan, a comprehensive stradgeji for school security based on the
experts in their fields. this plan will serve as a template, asset of best practices, principles and guidelines that every school in america can tweak as needed and taylor to their own set of circumstances. every school and community is different. but this model security plan will allow every school to choose among its various components to develop a school safety strategy that fits their own circumstance whether it's a large urban school or a small rural school such as we have in arkansas or anything in between. armed, trained qualified school security personnel will be one element of that plan, but by no means the only element. if a school decides for whatever reason that it doesn't want or need armed security personnel, that, of course, is a decision to be made by the
parents and the local school board at the local level. the second point i want to make is that this will be a program that does not depend on massive funding from local authorities or the federal government. instead it will make use of local volunteers serving in their own communities. in arkansas my son was a volunteer with a local group called watchdog dads who volunteer their time at schools to patrol playgrounds and provide a measure of added security. president clinton initiated a program called cops in school. but the federal response is not sufficient for today's task. whether they are retired police, retired military or rescue personnel, i think there are people in every community in this country who would be happy to serve if someone asked them and gave them the training and certifications to do so.
the national rifle association is the natural obvious choice to response sor this prament. their gun safety and hunter education programs have set the standard for well over a century. over the past 125 yeered their eagle gun safe program has taught 26 million kids that real guns aren't toys. and today child gun accidents are at the lowest levels ever recorded. school safety is a come plects issue with no simple solution fpblet but i believe trained, qualified armed security is one component among many that can provide a first line of difference swelts the last line of defense. i welcome the opportunity to serve this in this vital life saving effort. thank you very much. >> as i indicated at the
outset, this is the beginning of a serious conversation. we won't be taking questions today but our public affairs officer is here. we will be willing to talk to anybody beginning on monday. a text of the speech by wayne and asa hutchinson's remarks are available at nra.org. i look forward to talking to any of you and answering your questions next week. thank you very much. >> a few hours after the n.r.a. event diane fine stine held a news conference. she said wayne lapierre's call for armed school guards is a blame tact i can. >> good afternoon everyone.
i'm here with the senior senator from connecticut and we would like to make a few remarks in response to the national rifle association's press conference this morning. this morning the n.r.a. said that they wanted to have a conversation about security in our schools. and i'd like to respond to that call. if school districts want to hire armed security guards, i support that. it's a decision each school district should make. and many school districts already have armed guards. in fact, 28300 public schools, that's about a third of all public schools have armed security staff. in fact there were two armed law enforcement officers who twice engaged the shooters at column bine. that didn't present 15 from
being killed and 23 wounded. copies of the investigative transcript with exactly what happened are available right at the back of the room. the n.r.a.'s blanket call to arm our schools is really nothing more than a distraction, it's a delay tact i can. it's a distraction from the vablet of military style assault weapons on our streets, in our schools, used at malls, used at workplaces, used in movie theaters and they allow for much death and destruction. it's a distraction from the prevalence of large am in addition feeding devices that allow shooters to expel 20, 30, 60, 100 and even more bullets. and it's a distraction from how easy it is to purchase weapons at gun shows with no background checks at all. the weapons today are much more
powerful and lethal than the weapons were when we did this bill in 1993 and that's the problem. and the time has come to address it. i'm not going to demonize anyone. i'm willing to talk to anyone, listen to anyone. i'm open to suggestions to make legislation better and more effective. should we have a conversation about school security? yes. should we have a conversation about mental illness and the culture of violence? yes. but we can't ignore the common denominator in all these masacres, easy access to killing machines. sandy hook is only the latest tragedy and more horrendous than anything i thought could happen in the united states of america. but these masacres are happening in our shopping malls, our movie that's ers,
our businesses and our offices. and the only thing that is consistent in all of them are the guns and that's the conversation we need to have. i'd now like to proudly introduce one of our original co-response source of the legislation we hope to introduce along with the house of representatives the senior senator from the great state of connecticut going through a very difficult time. >> thank you. let me first thank you for your leadership going back to 1993 and before at a time when i was seeking to advocate in the state of connecticut a similar law to the one adopted here banning assault weapons. this has been a ho risk week in the state of connecticut culminating in today's moment of silence at 9:30.
the end of a week where i spent the better part of the time meeting with first responders and families and going to funerals and wakes and speaking with ordinary people in the town of newtown connecticut. and the frain i have heard again and again from the people of newtown and connecticut and all around the country is you need to do something about the guns. the n.r.a.'s statement today is sadly and shamefully inadequate calling for more guns and rejecting real action against gun violence. at a defining historic moment for our nation, demanding cur rashese leadership the n.r.a. has declined to step forward. the proposal for more armed guards in schools may be
helpful in some instances but it falls short of the strong serious comprehensive action needed to stop the kind of tragedy that occurred in newtown last week. many of the state police who spoke to me on that day a week ago said that the killer was so heavily armed that they doubted they could have stopped him with their arms they normally carry. the american people are demanding real change. and the n.r.a.'s proposal fails to offer any real protection from violence. n.r.a. members in connecticut and around the country are writing and calling me to say that the n.r.a. does not speak for them. the newtown tragedy was a call for action and the n.r.a. has failed to answer that call. we need to do something about
these guns, about the assault weapons of the kind that was used in the newtown tragedy and i am very proud to join in the bill that will help put a stop to the proliferation of these assault went thans have no purpose but to kill and maim human beings. we need to do something about the high capacity magazine also used in the killing at sandy hook elementary school, better background checks, more of them so that the 40% now not covered as a result of the gun show loophole are in fact done. and when they are done, more comprehensively and effectively. and other measures relating to mental health need to be part of the solution. there is in fact, no simple, single solution. we need a dialogue among people
who are committed to common sense, sensible solutions. but the n.r.a. will have to alter its approach if it is to be taken seriously in this national debate. thank you. >> let me just quickly brief you on where we are and let me indicate that the new senator who will be sworn in in january came in to see me yesterday or the day before yesterday and said that he wanted to play a major role in this. he was absolutely dedicated to it and both of us are very grateful for that. we are working with the house. we hope to have one bill that will be introduced in the house. and we will have a joint press conference, house and senate. yesterday president clinton called and said if there is
anything he can do to help, he will do it. i just called him -- the reason i was late to this and said may i say that and he said yes, go ahead. we haven't firmed up the final details which i think all of us know. so this is a work in progress and we are putting together senate offers. i'd like to urge anyone in the senate, republican or democrat who are interested to call us. we'd like to sit down with you and hear your ideas and we would be hope thaffle you would join with us. let me just end with one thing. 1993 i got a whole bunch of gun mag scenes and went through them and did a study of the state of the art of these guns then. we just redid that and i have on my desk these mag scenes which will show the state of the art today, 2012. i cannot tell you how much more
sophisticated and technologically advanced these weapons are all stemming from military weapons. there are even devices which can be put in them legally which make them fully automatic. if you read this literature you see the enormous killing power that is out there on the street for virtually anybody to buy or obtain. so if you have questions. >> you mentioned you've been meeting with the people of newtown and hearing from them. i was curious whether you thought the n.r.a. struck an appropriate tone today on the week anniversary of the shooting? >> i think that the n.r.a.'s not tives and mind may have been with the people of newtown but it wasn't much in evidence in the specific proposals made today.
and i don't want to comment on the memories and the mourning of the people in newtown which i am very respectful of. i think today is one of sadness and i hope to honor the memory of those victims by what we do in the united states congress because they, as much as anyone in this country, their families and loved ones and friends are calling for action. >> can you maim any g.o.p. members besides scott brown who have come forward to support any kind of gun control? >> not at this time. but i haven't had the opportunity to talk with any of them yet. >> you mentioned president clinton called you. i'm wondering if you can elaborate more on what he said and what if anything you've
asked him to do in this process? >> he was talking about the battle back in 1993 with the bill that interestingingly enough was introduced and passed in 1993 and went into effect in 1994. of course he was president and the white house came alive and was very, very helpful in enabling the passage soft that bill bath in the senate and in the house. and so to have him part of the team again is really quite special for us. >> [inaudible] >> there is not unanimous consent agreement. i talked with my vice chairman this morning. i don't know what is hled holding it up but the general belief is this bill will be on the floor next week when we
come back. >> when you talked about the state of the art repenry out there. your bill doesn't call for any confiscation of weapons out there. other than stopping people from buying new once, what would be effected? >> good question. what we're looking at now is placing these weapons under the federal firearms act, the same act that exists for automatic weapons. since there are now devices to legally make them automatic, it seems to me that it is prudent to place them under the federal firmentes act and this would require they be registered, their owners have a background check. it's inconceivable after what the n.r.a. said today that people who have guns should have background checks or they
should be registered. we are also looking at a buy back program. now again, this is a work in progress so these are ideas in the development. >> these people who already own them would have to register? >> they would have to register their military style assault weapons. they would be put under the provisions of the federal firearms act. i'm sure you can read the act and you'll see what that is. >> being hypothetical here but 1993 democrats controlled white house. given n.r.a.'s stance today, how do you get republicans on board? how do you get through the house judiciary committee? >> what do you do? >> there is no more uphill fight than this. the question is do we fight or
do we knuckle under? we're just not going to knuckle under. it may take a year, two or three. in the meantime i believe through social media and through efforts that are being launched that we need to elect people who understand that america cannot be turned into an armed camp, where the safety of our citizens is jeopardized by the rights of a few who don't want anything to curtail their gun rights no matter how powerful those weapons r. and we're just looking at one class of weapons. weapons designed to kill people in close combat in military situations. >> in 1993 there were no social media. how does that give you an edge this time? >> i've heard from people who are very interested in launching social media efforts
at this. this is a big fight. this is a fight that the american people are going to have to stand up and stiffen their spine. either you're going to let the n.r.a. take over and dictate to this country or you're going to enable your elected representatives to vote their conscience based on their experience, based on their sense of right, based on their need to protect the schools, their malls, their workplaces and their businesses. >> i think the senator's point is profoundly important and well taken. a number of our colleagues have come up to me in the wake of this tragedy i think genuinely grief stricken and really effected by what they've seen and heard and feeling that we need real change. but america and the people of america are the ones who are going to make it happen by
standing up and speaking out. i'm sometimes asked how are you going to do it. and it isn't we, it is the american people who ultimately will convince the congress that the time for real change is now. you know the n.r.a.'s proposal for more armed guards in schools may seem like a good idea, but in fact, as you heard in the explanation afterwards, they are continue plating volunteers, watchdog dads, which i think is problematic itself raising concerns about safety, expertise, effectiveness. so i think the american people are looking for real solutions, serious, comprehensive proposals rather than what we heard today. and i think that opens an
enormous opportunity for all of the means by which they can express themselves. and fortunately we have more technology now and there is the opportunity for more contact and for influencing what comes out of this process and it may not be right away but it will happen eventually. >> i'd like to read the transcript of column bine of the sheriff's transcript of what happened if i can for a moment. this is the transcript compiled by the jefferson county sheriff's office. jefferson county sheriff's deputy kneel gardner the school's community resource officer working with his gun leend over the top of his car and fired four shots which he was 60 yards from the gunman. harris spun hard to the right and gardner thought he had hit him. second later harris began
shooting again at the deputy. after the exchange of gunfire, harrisen ran back into the building which gardner was able to get on the police radio and called for assistance from another sheriff's unit. quote shots in the building, i need someone in the south lot with me. later another officer fired back at harris as the student shot out a window. again, according to the sheriff's transcript, harris lean ling out of a broken window began shooth at -- shooting a rifle. jefferson county deputy paul smoker fires three rounds at him and the gunman disappears from the window. smoker continues to hear gunfire from inside the building as more students flee from the school. now there were two armed law enforcement officer at that campus and you see what
happened. 15 dead, 28 wounded or was it 23? 23 wounded. >> students from all over the country were held for the hearing on the pipeline and they were saying that all the metal detective tors and armed guards at their school make them feel less safe rather than more safe. do you think this could exass bait the problem? >> that's just an objective statement. i think that's certainly possible, for everyone who might feel that, another may feel safer. the question is this solving the problem and the answer is
no. what about the workplace. what got me into this was an innocent where 14 people were shot in a law office up in a huge highrise tower. does every law office have to have security, every factor where a grievance killer >> is in the answer that america should become an armed camp? i don't think so. i don't think that is the american dream. >> there's been a lot of lawmakers like yourself that come forward after the n.r.a. but there has been basically silence by the republicans. is that surprising to you that they have not come forward? >> let me go back. it was hard. the chairman in the house was defeated. the speaker was defeated. the n.r.a. went out to target
people after they voted for the assault weapons legislation. during which period, they were critical of it but they were targeting and threatening and they carried these deletes out. people were intimidated and i think that fear of intimidation has carried on today. it takes a lot of courage for a senator from a mountain state with a small state, california is bigger than 21 states in the district of columbia put together. wisconsin, north dakota, south dakota, they aren't so it takes tremendous courage and backbone for people to stand up. that is the test. leaders lead. we don't follow.
we've had so much since the beginning of the first mass shooting in 1967 at the bell tower. these events have proliferated along with the killing power of weapons that are on the streets. it is a big problem today. >> i might just add, you know, this debate is only beginning. it has only been a week since this horrific massacre in newtown. the n.r.a. in today in its approach will be irrelevant because it can't be a credible and constructive participant in this debate if it says the only acceptable solution is armed guards in schools. better school security, maybe part of the solution but it also has to include a ban on assault
weapons which have that kind of fire power that endangers everyone as well as the other measures that are sensible and common sense. i this democrat or republican, the key question is making america safer. and that will be the challenge but ultimately, i think, you know, the ark of this debate will swing toward strong, serious proposals. because the american people will not stand by idea idlely for another newtown. >> thank you, everybody. thanks, everybody.
>> last night house speaker zwraun boehner scheduled a vote extending the bush era tax cuts for incomes under $1 million but he canceled the vote because it did not have the votes to pass. today boehner held a news conference to find out show the fiscal cliff can be prevented he said "god only knows." this is 10 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. as you know the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we didn't have the votes to pass it. it is not outcome that i wanted but that was the will of the house. so unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go up on every american taxpayer an devastating defense cuts will go into effect in 10 days. the house is already passed bills addressing the fiscal
cliff. we pasted a bill replacing the president's sequester with responsible spending cuts and did it last may. we passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes that are scheduled to take effect on january 1 and we did that on august 1. we proposed plans over and over again that democrats used to support but now they won't. we don't want taxes to go up. republicans don't want taxes to go up. we only run the house and democrats runawayaway. what the president has propose sod far won't do anything to solve our spending problem. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. he simply won't deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and real tax reform to address our long-term debt
problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth and jobs in our country. we'll continue to work with our colleagues in the house and that senate on a plan that protects families and small businesses from the fiscal cliff. >> i think we saw last night the next chapter in this saga of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal cliff. it is clear that our conference has been consistent in its commitment to doing something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. we stand ready to continue in dialogue with this president to actually fix the problem. i hope that we see our colleagues on the other side of the capitol can do like wise and get serious to try to address the situation of spending so we
can get going on growing this economy and get people back to work. >> mr. speaker, a lot of the arguments you made last night was the multitrillion dollars tax cuts and to save taxpayers from a tax increase. are you willing to -- [inaudible] >> the president and i had a serious of conversations. i told the president on monday these were my bottom lines. the president told me his numbers $1.3 trillion in new revenues, $850 billion in spending cuts were his bottom line that he couldn't go any further. we see a situation where because of the political divided in the country, because of the divide in the washington trying to bridge these differences have
been difficult. if it was easy i guarantee you this would be have been done decades before. we have to find a way to address this significant spending problem that we have and we need to find a way through tax reform to begin to grow our economy that will create more jobs in our country. >> so what is the path forward? >> let me say, there is no senate bill that has come to the house. as you all know, the senate bill had a blue slip problem and it sits in the senate. we don't have a senate bill. we have a house bill that sits that extended the tax cut for
all americans. if the senate wants to act on that bill we will take a look at it. >> have you spoken with -- >> i'm interested in solving the major problems that face our country. that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president are going to continue to work together to address those concerns. >> [inaudible] >> i have not given consideration to it. we have a spending problem. and we have to address it and we're not going to address it by kicking the can down the road which is what you are suggesting. >> speaker boehner, --
>> i'm proud of our members. they do a great job on behalf of their constituents and a great job on behalf of our country. what we outlined last night was that the house will come back if needed. we're prepared to come back if needed. >> it sounds like you are walking away. >> no -- listen, i did not say that. nobody ought to read anything into this. we have differences but the country has big spending problems and we have to get serious about addressing it. >> this is not first time that something like this has happened. >> listen, the president knows i've been able to deliver on any promise i've made with him. the concern that i had was that
time was running short. and the idea that taxes ought to go up on every american taxpayer i thought was wrong and trying to address -- trying to address the tax issue i thought was very important to do it now. so we won't have taxes going up on every american and hurting our economy. >> the president said that you were confident that you were going to pass a bill. what went wrong? >> listen, there was a perception created that vote last night was going to increase taxes. i disagree with that characterization of the bill but that impression was out there. we had a number of our members who just really didn't want to be perceived as having raised taxes. that was the real issue. one of my colleagues the other night, had an analogy of 100
people drowning in a pool and he was a lifeguard. because he couldn't save all of them should he not do anything? his point was if i is save 99 people that is what i should do as a lifeguard. but the perception was out there and a lot of our members did not want to deal with it. >> are you willing to pass a bill which has democratic support at this time? >> the house has passed a bill to extend all of the tax rates, we did it in august 1. we passed a bill to replace the sequester. at some point the united states senate has to do something. what we were trying to to do this week was jump start and kick into gear some action by the in the to avert these tax
increases that are going into effect on january 1. >> with all due respect, what impact do you think bring up a bipartisan -- that president obama would have? >> at some point we have to address the spending problem that we have. we can't cut our way to prosperity we need real economic growth. many of us believe on both sides of the aisle that the fundamental reform of our tax code will get the economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. how we get there, god only knows. eric and i and our team here are committed with working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capitol, and the president to get this done. >> last week i asked you if you were concerned about losing the
leadership and you said you were not. in light of what happened last night if you're not concerned, should you be? >> i'm not. you all heard me say this and i told my colleagues this, if you do the right things every day for the right reasons the right things will happen. we might not have been able to get the votes last night to advert 98.1% of the tax increases, i don't think -- they were not taking that out on me. they were dealing with the perception that someone might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. >> well, three hours after
speaker boehner's newens conference today nancy pelosi and other house democrats spoke with reporters and they called for a bipartisan plan to avoid the tax increases that are set to take effect on january 1. >> good afternoon. for weeks we have been saying that christmas is coming and time is growing short. now christmas is upon us, there is very little time left. but there is still a chance. there is still a chance to reach an agreement that is balanced and fair. the president macon sessions in his latest -- more con setions in his latest proposal. we hope republicans will consider it so we can iron out further differences and bring it to the floor. president obama moved closer to the republicans on tax rates and said in terms of spending cuts he said he was willing to make
more spending cuts contrary to his representations that you may have heard. every time we're close to a solution, whether it was a year and half a go or now the republicans walk away. when we thought we were close this week the republicans decided to follow another path. the path that led them over the cliff. a route that they did not even have the votes. that was then, this is now. let's go back to the negotiation table. we have no right to walk out of the door of congress with no clear path of a resolution of this challenge. it is time to get back on track. it is time to get back to the negotiating table. we must work together in a bipartisan way to create jobs, grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, reduce the deficit and to do so in a responsible way. we can and we must get the job
done now. >> i thank her for her comments and i agree with her. last night's vote showed us reresolving the challenges cannot and will not be done with a partisan vote. it shows us that we must work together in a bipartisan way and we must preclude going over the fiscal cliff by a balanced agreement. that republicans can support, the democrats can support, the president of the united states can sign and it will pass the senate. we should not see taxes go up on working-class americans. we should not see doctors put at risk in terms of their delivery of services to seniors.
we should not see the alternative minimum tax put at risk. we need to lend confidence to our country and to our economy. some years ago we confronted partisan gridlock. newt gingrich and bill clinton got together to reach an agreement. it was very controversial and newt gingrich said, so i will say to each member of this house, unless they have a plan they think can get 218 votes over here, can pass through a filibuster in the senate and get signed, there is no responsible vote except yes. america excepts its congress to get to yes. the leaders indicated that we were prepared to work with the
speaker, with republican leadership. we all need to be willing to work with the president of the united states to get to yes for our country and for our constituents. i want to yield to my dear friend, the assisten ant leader of the democratic caucus. >> thank you very much. my colleagues, last year when the tea party republicans stopped the efforts of the academy that we called the super committee we said at the time, i thought it would take a definitive election to settle the matter. on november 6, the american people spoke very clearly and i
think decisively. president obama won all but one of the nine so-called swing states. he won in a landslide victory in the electoral college and he won the popular vote by 4.5 million votes. democrats in the senate added to their numbers and won a popular vote margin of 56-44. here in the people's house, more than 1.5 million more americans voted for democrats than voted for republicans. the american people have spoken loud and clear, yet the republican leadership continues to exercise extreme partisanship and defiance of the will of the
people. i am hopeful that the spirit of the season will take hold of the next several days. and we can come back here after christmas with less partisan extremism and work together to achieve honorable compromises that will arrest the widening wealth gap and create more fair and balanced approaches to address the nation's urgent challenges. i would like to yield to our vice chair. >> in politics i believe -- it is not a zero sum game. we need to work together. there is no partisan path towards a solution here. any solution facing our nation's
problems must be done in a bipartisan way and that means, neither side gets 100% of what they are looking to achieve. what we saw last night was an indication of that process. i think the president has been working in good faith with speaker boehner and continues to want to do that. with my hope, that we can come back to the table and continue to work with the president to work out a solution. but what we have seen right now is something, we as members of congress have observed for the last four years, the republican caucus whether they are the minority or the majority refuse to work with this president and with our side of the aisle. the american people have spoke otherwise in this eelection. they still have a chance as the congress works into the 113th congress. i would like to turn it over to
ranking member of the budget committee our great friend and all lie -- ally. >> it is great to be here. this morning speaker boehner said "the house did not take up the house bill last night because we didn't have the votes to pass it. that was not the outcome i wanted that was the will of the house." that was what speaker boehner said this morning. what we're doing, today is calling upon the speaker to put something on the floor of the house that can pass the house. that gets the number of votes necessary on a bipartisan basis. so he should bring a compromise, bipartisan bill too to the floor of the house and let the house work its will. the house said no to speaker
boehner's plan b, it is time for the house to say yes to a balanced, compromise bill. at the very least the speaker should take up the bill that the senate has passed on a bipartisan basis. there is nothing stopping the speaker from taking up that bill this afternoon or tomorrow or any day. nothing. nothing this in the law, nothing in the rules of the house. if he takes it up he will allow the house to work its will on that particular bill. so we call upon the speaker to allow the house to work its will as it did last night to say no to plan b. this house will say yes, we believe to a bipartisan compromise bill and we believe it will say yes to the senate-passed bill that is pending. with that i want to turn it over to our good friend and colleague
steve israel from new york. >> i've learned when you say my way or the highway you usually end up on the highway. they need to turn around, they need to come back to washington, they need to negotiate a compromise based on what the president has put forth. plan b may have failed, it is now to get to plan c. plan b is compromise and plan c is comprehensive. we urge our colleagues to come back to washington and get to work on something that is a compromise. every time we have offered a compromise, the republicans have gone in the other direction. we were here, they were there. we went in this direction, they
have now left town. that is no way to get a compromise that is comprehensive. so we urge them to return to work, return to washington and avoid the fiscal cliff. i will turn it back to our leader. >> i was interested that the speaker said last night that the house did not take up the bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass it. it was not the outcome i wanted but that was the will of the house. that was not the will of the house was it might be the will of the caucus. you don't know what the will of the house is unless you bring a bill to the floor. i believe there might have been bipartisan support for the 250 proposal that we have as discharge petition. i think that's why they did not bring it up. they knew that republicans would vote for it. anyway, any questions?
>> you mentioned in your opening marks that the speaker will bring the president's proposal to the floor for consideration. given what happened last night, is there any clue that they might take something out of? >> we should consider it. the best thing is to go to the table, to have the speaker -- the fastest thing we can do is bring it to the floor for consideration. i said to bring it up, go to the table so we can iron out our differences. i think that can be done. you have to remember, when the president came forward with a new proposal this week it was on the strength on how close the speaker and the president had been now the president came closer to the speaker's decision in terms of spending cuts and in terms of tax rates. so it seems like every time we
get close something changes or they go to a different field. so i think many of our caucus don't like every aspect of the president's proposal if they did the republicans would probably reject it. so it is a compromise on both sides. that is a good place to start. do my colleagues want to add anything to that? >> you were pretty clear that you were all going to vote against plan b and speaker boehner said this is something to advert going off the cliff. if these tax increases lapse without a vote, how do you respond to the house democrats are also at vault to be so strongly against this plan b vote? >> we're here for the middle class. the bill that would have come to the floor was a direct assault
on the middle class. the idea that the speaker says i'm giving additional tax cuts to the wealthiest people in the country while i raise taxes on the middle class, well, i don't think that is a good idea. that's how i would answer it but i'm sure my colleagues might want to add to that. >> i think we were united in opposition of a bill that had no chance in a passage in the united states senate and would not be signed by the president of the united states of america. therefore, we were concerned that we were wasting perhaps 120 hours at a time when the cliff confronts us in just a few days. we're action on behalf of working americans is essential. that's where i refered to knew gingrich's comment, in order for action to occur we need a bill that can get passed and signed
by the president of the united states. we did not want to waste another 96 hours. i'm pleased it was defeated. it was voted down in a heated conference. i would urge speaker boehner to again sit with president obama and reach a compromise that will be a reasonable one and that will confront the fiscal challenges that confronts our country. that is what this is all about. and confront doing some of the things that is essential for us to do before january 2. none of us want the sequester to go into place. the other aspects that you know about that need to be addressed. so i think the opposition was that a partisan bill was being put forward.
a partisan bill, in my opinion, was more to give republicans a place to stand than it was to give a legislation that would give relief to america and help our economy. >> i think it is very important for us to really take a look at was being proposed. if my reading is correct and i'm no expert on these matters, but i can tell you i read that the sequester was being postponed or gotten rid of in this proposal. by getting rid of mortgage deductions, by cutting food stamps, by getting rid of unemployment insurance, this is a strange time of year to be making those kinds of proposals. those are the things that we're
objecting to. we want this to be fair and balanced. i don't think it is fair to balance this budget on the back of those people who can ill-afford those kinds of cuts. >> what he is taking it to the point that he did which is about the tax cuts and the reconciliation bill they had on the floor. it was a terrible combination. not only are you giving -- like reverse robin hood. you are giving tax cuts to people making over $1 million a year. but at the same time, they had this reconciliation bill that said 20 million children would have reduced nutrition and food benefits.
1.3 million seniors would not have meals on wheels. the list goes on and on. so when people say why can't you come to an agreement? if you want to come to an agreement you can. if you're coming close to an agreement then you say we're taking the food out of the mouths of babies and seniors to give tax cuts to the wealthiest and happying hundreds of billions of dollars more on to the national debt because we don't believe in government so that is the route we want to go. it is hard to come to an agreement. it is not for republicans who do believe in government they do want to reach a solution and that's why we're hopeful that something can happen. yes? >> i wanted to ask you a question off topic a little bit. about the n.r.h. press conference -- >> i want to come back to that.
on the same subject? >> do you believe that there are 122 republicans that are willing to vote for a deal that democrats and the president can back? and what besides that the president can already offer that democrats are willing to put on the table? >> in return for what? >> 122 republicans. >> the package is the package. it is not about us, it is what it means to america's great middle class. when we did the much talked about now, the vote that i brought to the floor, there were 86 democrats over -- 86 democrats voting for and 140 drts voting against. i had 60% of my caucus what i brought to the floor. the 120 is not the number. the number is what does this mean to middle-income families?
>> do you want to speak on it? >> the president has already met the republicans more than halfway. i think people who have been following these negotiations recognize that the president has already moved remarkably over a short period of time. remember, he originally proposed a revenue of $1.6 trillion which people who have been following this that was less revenue proposed by the bipartisan simpson bowles exchange. then the president dropped that to $1.2 trillion over 10 years and the president has significantly increased the amount of cuts he's prepared to make. that comes on top of $1 trillion in cuts as part of the budget control act which we've already agreed to. even a higher number if you look at the cuts taken over the last
year, including very controversial provisions that many of us have serious reservations about. but it is an indication that the president is prepared to meet the republicans more than halfway. so i think the president has struck the balance and, you know, i think speaker boehner should bring up a bill like that, that reflects the balance and compromise. just like leader pelosi did when she was speaker of the house when it came to the bill when it dealt with the iraq war. the full house should be able to work its will, republicans and democrats together. it is good that the speaker put the good of the country above republican house caucus politics. >> on the subject then we'll go -- just one more on the subject because we have to go to work. >> the speaker characterized the
office and their bottom lines -- what is the president's bottom line, has he gone as far as he could go? >> are you talking about the next proposal? this is so out of context i don't know. if we can come to the table iron out differences, that is how we will find out where everybody's bottom line is. the real bottom line is that american people are working today and where is the congress? why are we not finished this task? because week after week of two-day sessions, two and half day sessions and now we're leaving or perhaps we're leaving, it unknown. nobody know what is is going on in terms of schedule. the fact is, we're coming to the end of the line in terms of this year and the bottom line is we've got to get it done.
we've got to avoid the cliff. we've got to avoid downgrading of our credit rating. we have to avoid the cuts that will undermine such things as infrastructure. those are the kind of investments that bring more money to the treasury. in conversations i've had with the president, most recently last night, i know he believes we must avoid the cliff and we need to get something done. i cannot explain to anybody what the path of the republicans took this week was about? what was that about? what were they trying to prove? first they had the 250 on the floor. i knew that would prove it would win that republicans would vote for it. that's why they pulled it. so then they had this $1 million
plan -- $50,000 christmas gift for people making over $1 million a year. so when the president asked me, what is the mood, how do you see this from your perspective there? i said to him is what i say to you, i don't know what their bottom line is. i don't know if they know what their bottom line is. if their bottom line is what i described about the bill yesterday, $1,000 if you are middle class, if your a child you have limited access to nutrition and food and that is reduced to 20 million children. no ticket for seniors to have access to medicare. it's not responsible and it's not clear to see what the path
might be. but i still have confidence in the speaker and in his caucus that ideology approaches to this will fine when you are campaigning at home but when you come to the table you have a responsibility to legislate. be a representative of your district. but to find a solution and that's what we must do. >> so my question is about, the n.r.a. news conference this afternoon in washington. they called on congress to pass legislation for an armed officer in each school throughout america. there is like 90,000 schools in america and cost about $5 billion. do any of you think that is a good idea? >> i think it is a false notion
to think that simply by having armed guards in our school that somehow that will deter someone who is dead-on going to try to take the lives of all the people but in this case and other cases as well. i think it is the exact opposite direction that the american people want us to move in. they want us to look at this issue holistically. as well as the mental health issues we're facing in this country. we need to look at this in a more rational way. i think the way that the n.r.a. is approaching this is irrationally. i think people were spenting a different response. i think what we're looking for is a more collaborative approach. what can you bring? what can you help us to move the
country forward? that was not brought to us today by that press conference. >> i don't think those remark represent a good portion of the america. i don't think they represent the majority of views of responsible members of the national rifle association who want guns to hunt, want guns to protect their homes and their house and yes, their children. but a recommendation of an armed escalation of arm guards i don't believe that american people think makes good common sense. i am hopeful that we go in a direction that will say these weapons of mass killing capability will be limited, magazines will be limited and yes, we will make sure that people who have access to dangerous weapons, in fact, are
mentally healthy to the extent that we can get there. i do no think those remark, which i think are unfortunate represent the majority of his own members. i would be surprised if that was the case. certainly, do not represent the views of the overwhelming of the majority of the american public. >> i was in the funeral service for senator daniel inouye. i did not hear the full context of it. but i heard him to say one way to stop a bad man with a gun is with a good man with a gun. escalation is not a positive force. we know this is complicated. we also know that 90-some% that
have been diagnosed with a mental illness have not engaged in a mental -- incidents like thees. we're talking about a small percentage of american people. that doesn't mean we should not do more to address mental illness. that's why we passed a mental parady bill and that's why we have in the affordable care act a parady of the mental care act there. it very important. for the n.r.a. and others to shield themselves to say it is the mentally ill and we have to have more armed cops in the schools or more guns in the schools. what do they want, to have the gun on the teacher's desk? have it locked up and you have
to say wait a minute let me go get it. we have a challenge facing the mental illness and their relation to every issue and also the fact that, as you know, as we gathered here of 130 democrats, at least, our sponsors of legislation to ban the high capacity, what we call assault magazines that enable somebody to have 30 shots instead of 10. 10 seems like a lot to me but at least it gives somebody a fighting chance. then to look at an assault weapons ban. all of these things are being considered. that's why i named an injured vietnam vet, mike thompson to
take the energy and to hear what the concerns are. it all kept coming back, we understand violence but you have to get rid of these high performance guns. -- the magazines or whatever you cull it. i called it a clip once. whatever you want to call it they are very, very dangerous. very thoughtfully and carefully we approach this to say making all of these cuts and where mental healthish uses to be addressed. and they need to be addressed in relation to violence. we have to address the issue of violence in our societies and the glorification of it in some
cases. we have to address the actual issue of how do we give a fair chance. as i said to you a couple of days ago, if any one of us or any one of you had that chance to pull the magazine out of the hands of the shooter to protect those children you would do it. we have a chance to do it not only physically but ledge slayively. you know congressman barber who was wounded in arizona he has said to us i thought this through i've had 30 years of mental illness education in that situation and i think the only way to keep magazines out of the hands of the mental health
patients is to keep the hands out of everybody. i want to read the tweet of chris murphy, here's what he tweeted. he represents the district of newtown. he said "walking out of another funeral and handed the n.r.a. transscript. the most revolting tone deaf statement i've ever seen. walking out of another funeral and handed the n.r.a. transscript." thank you all very much. >> when the senate came into
session this afternoon, harry reid and minority leader spoke on the floor about the fiscal cliff. they called on the house to extend tax cuts for incomes under $250 a year. current tax rates should be extended for for one year for all taxpayers. >> last night the house of represents approved what we've known for quite a while. speaker boehner's plan to raise taxes on middle class. we said that yesterday. we knew the so-called plan b was no plan at all. it could not pass the senate, turns out, it could not pass the house either. it is too bad this the speaker boehner wasted a week on this
stunt. that's all we can call it. at least now house republicans have gotten the message loud and clear, a comprehensive solution to the looming fiscal cliff will need to be a bipartisan solution. nothing can pass without democrats and republican votes. which means any solution have to ask the most fortunate among us to make sure that we don't take the brink of default. nothing has passed fits that test. nothing. a few days ago speaker boehner and stood poised to pass a grand bargain. we heard that before. instead of making hard choices
that's stunt fell flat. it is time for the speaker and all republicans to return to the negotiating table. we've never left, mr. president. it's time for republicans to work with us to find the middle ground. that is the only hope of adverting the devastating impact of avoiding the fiscal cliff. mr. president, the fiscal cliff needs to be avoided. in the meantime, the speaker should bring the tax cut that was passed five months ago for a vote. we know it passed. all he has to do is let the democrats vote with some republicans. it will pass. the clock is ticking until the nation goes over the cliff. senate passed the bill and 97%
of small businesses from crippling tax hikes. while president obama worked toward a compromised agreement. that agreement should be comprehensive. if republicans want to ensure that tax rates don't go up on january 1 shea should pass the bill. he knows it will pass. he work for a day or two seeing that it would bring it up so it would not pass. americans are not fooled for failing to bring this solution to a vote. they are tired of excuses. i say to my friend this is not a game it will be very serious consequences for millions of families and if congress fails
to compromise. there will be serious consequences if congress fails to compromise. it is time for them to return to the table and compromise. it is time for the republicans to understand what is at stake. i repeat $250,000 program will pass overwhelming in the house. it is up to the speaker. >> mr. president, the republican leader. most people are focused today what happened last night over in the house. i would like to focus on a press conference that the democrats held a few hours earlier.
here in the senate, other than the president, these are the folks with the greatest responal to prevent a massive tax hike coming in january. what do they do? they stood in front of the cameras and laughed. laughed. they giggled at a bunch of bad jokes and told the american people they don't plan to do anything this week. nothing. absolutely nothing. dralts in the house vowed they would not vote for this bill, the majority leader vowed he would ignore it if it made it oust the house and the president vowed that he would veto it. so they defeated a bill yesterday that would mic tax cuts permanent for americans and
they laughed about it. i don't know if anybody looked at a calendar lately we're out of time here, folks. this isn't funny. people's livelihoods are at stake here. the u.s. economy is at stake here. millions of families are couping on us to do something. look, it is the president's job, it is his job to find a solution that can pass the congress. he's the only one who can do that. this isn't john boehner's problem to solve. he's done his part, he bent over backwards. mr. president, how about rallying your party around a solution. how about getting democrats to support something? i've said it before, we cannot solve the problems we face unless the president of the united states finds a will or develops the ability, the ability to lead. this is a moment that calls for presidential leadership.
that's the way out of this. it is that simple. does anybody wonder why we keep going from crisis to crisis around here? anybody notice a pattern? this does not have to be a crisis. this was an opportunity. once again, the president ignored it. he went out and held rallies and gave partisan speeches after he was re-elected. it is obviously that the president wants to go off the cliff. i know most of the american people don't want that. so today i'm going to make an offer. with 10 days to go we have an obligation to act on something -- something that can pass the house and the senate. if the president won't propose it, if senate democrats won't propose it, i will. earlier this year the house passed a bill that extends tax rates for everyone on one year with instructions on
comprehensive tax reform by next year. we can bring up this bill. if the majority leader has a plan to get 60 votes in the senate, break through the disarray in his own caucus and build bipartisan support, offer that as an amendment and let's vote. let's vote on amendments from all sides. then let's go a conference from the house of represents. they already passed a bill to prevent a tax hike on all americans. why dwonet take it up here. let get this done. it's called ledge slaying. that is what he with used to do in congress. democrats might be popping champagne corks today about bringing plan b but all their effort to do so yesterday won't protect a single taxpayer from a massive tax hike in just a few weeks. the american people are waiting.
surely we can do better than this. let's do it. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> if leadership time is reserved. the majority leader. >> mr. president, if this weren't such a serious situation we face ourselves it would be laughable. can you imagine saying that we should defeat a bill that we've already defeated? we voted -- we voted on the proposal the same time we voted to pass that protecting middle-class americans. that passed the senate. wanting to give the richest of the tax breaks they get. another $50,000 for each of them was defeated here. it was defeated in the senate. so my friend and he is my friend
republican leader struggling to find a way to blame democrats and it is a struggle. trying to blame us for the failure of the house to pass the speaker's bill. the house is lead by the republicans. their margin is narrow after the first of the year but right now he controls the house by a wide margin. i served in the house. the speaker is all-powerful in the house. to blame us for that travesty that took place over there, mr. president, that is pretty incredible. as i try to say in my remark here, mr. president, could we at least protect the middle class? my friend complains that the
president hasn't done enough. he put forward a proposal that has received criticism from democrats because he was too generous with speaker boehner. but the president believes as he said several times, both sides have to make hard choices. the president released a $2.4 trillion program. it was pretty good. it would allow the s.g.r. to continue so doctors get paid and they have doctors to go to. it extended unemployment benefits. there is a crisis, but it is because the house republicans refused to palace the senate
bill. republican leaders seek to pass bill, whichssed has already been defeated. mr. mcconnell: by --. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: all i was suggest to my friend the majority leader you have a tax bill that originated in the house, it came over to the senate. if our friends in the majority don't like that version of it, they could call it up, amend it and see if there's a majority in the senate for something. the time for finger pointing is, seems to me, about over. the american people are not particularly interested in what originated here or there or who is doing what. they're interested in getting a result.
and i was just trying to be helpful in suggesting you've got a tax bill that came over from the house, you've got a majority here, you could take it up, offer amendments, see if there is something that could achieve a majority of the senate rather than just complaining because the house didn't pass something yesterday, that didn't going to solve the problem. somehow, some way, we need to find a way forward and i hope we can in the coming week. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i hope we can, too. but this is really quite remarkable. i'm told that members from this body went and talked to the republican caucus yesterday saying send us your plan b, and the democrats over here will take care of it and send you back something you'll like better. mr. president, we can all see what's happened in the press. now, i like john john boehner,
but gee wheeze. this is a pretty big political battering he's taken. what he should do is allow a vote in the house of representatives on a bipartisan bill. it will pass. democrats will vote for it, some republicans will vote for it. that's what we're supposed to do. but he's trying to pass everything with that majority that he has that can't agree on anything among themselves. bring in the democrats. that's what the country was set up, our founding fathers set it up that way. but he wants some other method where everything is done by a slim majority that they have. this is absolutely incredible, mr. president. and we believe that the speaker should be concerned, i'm confident he is, but maybe he's more concerned, as some have said, about his election to be returned as speaker. he should be more concerned
about what's going to happen to the country. if he showed leadership and walked out there and said this is the right thing for the country, we're all going to vote on this, democrats would vote for it and enough republicans would vote for it to pass something that would take us away from that fiscal cliff. but this brinksmanship and silliness that's going on over there that you wouldn't do in an eighth grade government election. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i would only add that the time for finger pointing is gradually running out here. the american people know we have a president, they know we have a senate and they know we have a house and they're anxiously waiting whether we're going to solve this problem before the >> also today senators john mccain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayotte responded to a
report about the benghazi attack. it said deficiencies at the state department led to the attack. >> good afternoon, i am joined by other senators to comment on the tragedy surrounding benghazi. it has been more than three months after the attack that killed four americans, including the ambassador. the american people are beginning to get the answers they deserve, but there are more relevant questions that still need to be answered. the report of the state department's accountability board -- review board is a serious and credible effort that identifies failures of officials
and institutions in the department. several people have lost their jobs. it is a good start, but only a start. the tragedy raised other serious questions about our military, intelligence community, and perhaps most importantly the administration's so-called light footprint approach to libya. it does not provide answers to these questions because it never asked them. eight is essential for the department to conduct an accountability effort on the occasion of the worst terrorist attack in american history of repeated attacks on u.s. and western interests in benghazi. why were no units postured,
alert, and ready to respond to what should have been a foreseeable contingency, one in which two of the four people who lost their lives were killed in the seventh hour of the attack? this rages questions that the the pence department must consider. what greater world the we need the military to play a defense of personnel overseas, especially in the broader middle east that has been never more unsettled? what is the right military posture for forces in the region? what do we need them to do? conversations about the military and defense right now, are mostly about budgets and numbers. it is important to talk more about objectives, strategy, and policies since the attack in benghazi could represent a kind of new normal in our dangerous world. the defense department needs to answer these questions. i might add in the authorization bill we added authorization for
1000 additional marines to be used to protect our installations, diplomatic installations overseas. it is essential for the community to conduct a similar arb-type effort. why did it take more than a week for the eye witnesses' accounts to reach our analysts put these witnesses could have told them in minutes there was no protest at our consulate, a conclusion that in the absence of this information to took our intelligence community nearly two weeks to confirm on its own? the congress created the 9/11 commission to fix these problems. perhaps we need another round of reforms. perhaps most important questions that still need to be answered our a beast -- after the fall of gaddafi, why did the administration not do more to
support libyan friends and partners as an outcry that affiliated tourist -- terrorist groups established sanctions in eastern libya? that remains the fact on the ground today. it directly implicates u.s. national security interests, and that is the real explanation of why for americans lost their lives in benghazi. a pattern of violent activity in eastern libya was well- documented for the entire year leading up to the attacks of september 11, 2012, and yet the administration did too little to support our libyan partners who were grateful for america's help in the fight for liberation who elected a pro-american government in july, who sought greater u.s. assistance to treat their wounded, train their national security forces come to secure their borders, build their democratic institutions, and expand the rule of law. libyans did not want al qaeda
militias running amok in large parts of the country. that is the reality we now face. this is the broader failure of the administration's so-called life footprint approach toward libya. regardless of whom the president nominates to serve in his cabinet, we will continue to ask these questions and demand answers and accountability. >> keep. i would like to concur with senator mccain. i thought the report was very detailed and the recommendations good and solid in terms of how to better understand the intelligence and run it, how to improve security on the ground, and there is much we can learn from this report. here is what we do not -- we know nothing about president obama before, during, and after the attack. they're making two movies about his use of in the bin laden rate, and he deserves that.
it was well executed and the president deserves great credit for making that call. we cannot live in a world where he only gets credit no scrutiny. what did he do for the seven hours in question? we have photos of him a commanding the situation in the bin laden rate. we know very little about the role he played during the seven hours of the attack. why did the president himself as late as 25 september claimed the attack was related to a hateful video? why did he continue to suggest that this was a demonstration spawned by a video that led to a ride well beyond that was possible? that was no longer a plausible story. president know about that decreasing security environment ? was he told about the attacks on
the conflict of which he told about the 16 august cable where the investor said if he is attacked we cannot defend this place. what did the president know about the security environment in libya before the attack? during the attack, what orders did they make, why were they not carried out? and afterward, why did he pushed a story line that was misleading? as to ambassador rice, after this report, i hope the american people will understand that the story she told on 15 september was completely out of line with reality on the ground, and i believe firmly now more than ever that the story she told on five national television shows was more of a political story than informing the american people. the talking points -- who changed the talking points? he took out references to al qaeda?
al qaeda references are all over the rim original report and all over the cables coming out of libya and tripoli. when she said security at the consulate was substantial, and strong, that was the furthest thing from the truth and the report verifies that. she did notnt said h= =she know anything about it. she said take it up with him. i thought that was an odd response. if you look at any of the intelligence, she would have seen a deteriorating environment. if you paid any attention you would have understood what the conclusions were reached in this report, that the environment was
deteriorating months before, and on september 11, the last table talks about how the militias warrant the american government we do american governmentjabril, continue to support him, we will not be able to provide you with viable security. that was a well-known fact in the last cable of september 11, the morning before the attack. as to secretary clinton, to those who suggest she is dodging her responsibilities because she is sick, that is inappropriate. i think secretary clinton has been ill, suffered a concussion, and she will testify. when her day to testify comes, she should testify as a sitting secretary of state. she needs to be asked. there was no interview in preparing this report. she needs to be asked about what she knew about the
deteriorating terms dances in benghazi. the gcc 16 august cable? was he informed about the rise of calcutta militias with that is only fair and appropriate. finally, as to funding, that is not an issue. it was said that funding was not a problem. the ranking member of the foreign office of preparations of committees made available money in iraq to help anywhere in the world in the 2012 -- it took $20 million to spend in tripoli. we added $33 million with the understanding you could use it anywhere. i worry about future funding cuts. that is something we should be aware of when we did the budget negotiations, that we cannot leave our people in a bad spot. on september 11, two dozen top, funding was not an issue.
this was inevitable. the people on the ground were telling us we are going to get killed. they had two options. stop doing their job or just press on the best they could. if anybody knows chris stevens, the last thing in the world he would do is give up. people questioned whether he should have been there on september 11, given the security environment. if you knew him like i know him, that is the place he had to be. a place where it would make a difference. the bush administration has said many things about iraq that were not accurate. john and i pushed back when we needed to. we pushed back here because you cannot allow any administration to get the glory of god operations and not accept the
blame that comes when things go badly. it is not that blamed that we are trying to assign to a specific person. i tried to learn. i am trying to correct. the bush administration eventually corrected failed policies. if this administration does not change their strategic view of how to engage in the middle east, or benghazis will follow. there was no libyan government to outsourced security to. these militias were angry at anybody who was looking at benghazi with a critical eye at all could understand what our people on the ground were telling washington. we were outsourcing security to a nonexistent government. we were pushing the theme of leading from behind to a fault. i think is fair to say that president bush sometimes went into strong without thinking of the consequences. i think it is fair to say that we are taking a back seat at a
time of critical need for the world without thinking about the consequences. mr. president, the strategy you are employing of trying to lead from behind is allowing the mid east to blow up before our eyes. you need to engage based on reality. the reality is iraq is falling apart. if you do not do something there soon, the same thing that happened in libya is want to happen in iraq and other places throughout the world. >> thank you. i want to also echo the comments of my colleagues. i appreciated the work done on the accountability review board report. there was substantial work done on this and we need to work on a bipartisan basis to amend the recommendations, as soon as we can to make sure that our facilities around the world are
secure. let's make sure we remember some of the most top-line findings, that there was a failure of leadership within the state department that contributed to what happened on september 11, that the security of the consulate was grossly inadequate, and that this report the early discredits the administration's narrative almost two weeks after the attack on the consulate in saying that this was the result of a spontaneous protest in response to a heinous video. those responsive, if you think about the at what the administration said two weeks later, it was not just ambassador rice who talk about that on a sunday tv shows. oxon tender 18, at september 20, the president of the united states connected these attacks to the video despite clear evidence from the beginning from those who were on the ground that that was not the case. there are substantial questions
that remain. the question that i have that echoes the questions of my colleagues are, we have seen with this report that already we have had one resignation from the state department, we have three that are on administrative leave. this is all at the under secretary level, and is incredibly important. one of the issues that this report finds is that there is an integration problem within the state department, of communicating, and that comes from the top leadership at the state department. it is critical we not only hear from secretary clinton, but also make sure we heard from the other deputies yesterday to make sure we understand was she aware of the deteriorating security situation there, why were there additional steps taken to secure that consulate, and within our intelligence community, we still have not-- we need a clear
accounting of the talking politioints. i support the effort to do and accountability review with the intelligence community. finally i would just say that we need to hold those accountable who committed this terrorist attack. we have not yet brought anyone to justice who has committed obviously murdered our ambassador and the three brave americans there with him that day. this is an important question as well, that needs to be addressed immediately, and also what investigative resources have been put forward to this? one of the things that has not been discussed is how quickly or the fbi -- i was troubled by how long it took the fbi to get to the scene, and we need to make sure that we are falling back to where we were before september
11 where things get stovepipe within agencies information is not being communicated, and when agencies are not working together. senator mccain pointed out an example, that there were eyewitnesses that it took days for us to get information, about what those by witnesses had seen, which would have cleared up a misrepresentation that was made about the reaction to the video from day one. i think those questions have to be answered to make sure that we prevent future attacks like this. >> there will be as we know nominations coming forward for a secretary of defense, a new director of the cia. these questions will be part of that process. they will be part of our obligation as our role of advice and consent. questions? >> you talked about the failure of leadership the report
highlights. do you think people above the -- should be held accountable? i know secretary clinton is leading. >> the buck always stops at the top. that is the harry truman sign. that is why these additional questions need to be answered, and those who are given the responsibility, as the secretary of the state was, as the director of the cia was, these responsibilities must be placed at the position of responsibility. being a cabinet secretary or secretary of state or secretary of defense, they have a lot of nice things would go along with having those jobs come, and along with those nice things like limousines and ticket
service also goes the responsibility and accountability to the american people. so far, as was pointed out by my two colleagues, we have seen deputy secretaries help responsibility. what did the president know? what was he doing? what did the secretary of state know before, during, and after, because the american people are clearly deceived after the murder of these four brave americans for an incredibly long period of time, and inexplicably long period of time. um i would point out -- should look at the organizational chart. i was looking at he was interviewed and who was not. we talk about people do in terms of resignation here and below them are where the administration's leads are. the questions are fair to say, when we have an issue of that
importance of securing our consulate and you go up the chain of command, what was informed? was there information up the chain of command? if that did not happen, that is an important question, because in order to make a decision on what our security footprint was, these people need information, but also if that did not go up the chain of command, why were there no action is taken? it is fair to question to make sure that not only what happened within the state department, but across the agency here, this is an issue where it is important that not only was it within the secretary of state, but also the the department of defense. we have made a request for chairman leaven for hearing. we made that request this morning so we can have a full hearing before the committee to find out why we did not have military assets in place and
what the thinking was there. >> you mentioned there will be a new defense secretary, your friend and colleague. sorry, secretary of state. i was wondering if you and the other senators could reflect on the wisdom of that appointment at how easy this confirmation process coming out? >> we believe the president's by virtue of winning the election should have the right to pick people that he wants. if those individuals we do not agree with philosophically, that is not the criteria. the criteria is whether that person is qualified and will do that job that fits the responsibility they are given. we have known john kerry for many years. we have confidence in john kerry's ability to carry out the
job. i would also like to emphasize our job is advice and consent, and the nomination process in the hearings and votes are what really matters. >> i think senator kerrey was a very solid person for the president. he knows most of the world leaders. when he goes to a country he will be a known quantity. i have disagreed with him on a lot of policy choices, but i think he will be a very solid choice. about nominations, i have a good record i think of being -- providing advice and consent. sometimes not in my political best interest. my problem with some of the names being floated for secretary of state ahis i did nt know our country was going to be well served by people i did not trust. susan rice to get to the heart of the matter -- i did not
question her character or patriotism -- i thought she was eager to tell the story that did not make a lot of sense. we cannot have that. i really do believe that not mentioning al qaeda be involved and saying cockeye that was decimated was not appropriate. i believe to tell the american people the consulate was strongly substantially secured was by all means not appropriate. i believe this is just this thing was other than a terrorist attacks was a political narrative. i want somebody to ask secretary clinton, why did you not go on on 16 september? when the investor said secretary clinton was not available because she was sick and getting grief counseling, i do not think that withstands scrutiny. i knew she is really till now. i am curious as to how that
happened. that is a big deal. remember abu ghraib? it was a complete, absolute failure of managing a jail. you had a jail flooded with prisoners and other qualified guards, and it was a national nightmare. i did not ask for rumsfeld to resign, because he is thousands of miles away, he accepted responsibility because it happened on his watch, but we learned from abu ghraib, they are stonewalling care. the are not getting the information that is available to make intelligent decisions. we do not have the cables coming from libya and back to washington on the day in question. we still did not have the fbi interview. the president said he would be transparent and cooperate, and the american people would learn what happened. we did not know anything about what he did. he gets angry responses and he
does not explain his leadership as commander in chief, before, during, and after. that will not stand. >> your views about some of your hagel? >> i have known senator hagel for yeras. -- years. i appreciate his service in vietnam. i am concerned about many of the comments that he made and has made, like reference to a jewish lobby, which i did not believe exist. i believe a pro-israel lobby exists, and i think many of those comments and other positions that he has taken will be the subject of the senate armed services committee, and i will look forward to asking
those questions and getting his responses. >> you mentioned the marines that would be increased for embassy security. what other measures the you think the department should use to increase that footprint and -- >> that is why we just asked for the hearing with the secretary of defense perry >> you also mentioned the al qaeda influence in the post-gaddafi term you think that type of infiltration into those forces sets the stage for a similar instance to happen if and when assad falls in syria? >> it depends on whether we assist or not. the syrian people are not only fighting against assad, but
are angry against the united states. people talk about how the syrian people do not understand why we'll will not help them, and they are anchored and embittered. that will dictate a lot of their attitude and our involvement with syria after assad goes. that will be dictated what happens in syria whether they believe we have been of assistance to them or not pick in libya, but they believe we assisted them or showed that appreciation. meanwhile, we took a hike with a light footprint and let all these things develop. i think it depends if we ever have the moral courage, which we are clearly lacking, and assisting the syrian people throw off the yoke of this brutal dictator. we hear again there are now
cluster bombs being used. scud missiles. i ask the question that i asked secretary panetta well over a year ago, when about 7000 had been killed -- how many have to die before we're willing to intervene? how many have to die before we will establish a safe zone, get humanitarian aid to them, and arms and weapons they need? the latest evidence is that meters humanitarian aid or other assistance is getting through to the syrian resistance with any significant amount. >> this is a good question. my concern is libya is exhibit a of an overall failed strategic policy by the obama administration handling the arabs spring. dealing with what i think is the rise of islamic terrorism throughout the region. what happens when gaddafi faile d, we allow the situation to deteriorate, and rice and
clinton spoke about intervening. that is something to put in the plus column, and they pushed the administration to get involved and not let benghazi be overrun by gaddafi. happens is when you do not get involved you allow the situation to go on long car and it allows extremist groups to have a larger say. what happened in libya is the extremists lost at the ballot box, but in benghazi there was no libyan government to deal with the militia groups, pro and con, and the groups we were relying on were unreliable. the al qaeda militia groups were growing in strength. i worry about iraq. i worry that we fumbled the ball inside the 10-yard line. the surge did work. it did work. we have political progress and an increasingly good security environment. we have no troops in iraq today. i believe before long there will
be a fight between the kurds and the arabs, and i were about our diplomats in iraq, and i think allowing syria to can do it the way it has has become a contagion in the region, it is a strategically important decision we make about syria because iran is watching. every day we allow assad to stand is the day the iranians believe we are less than serious about stopping their nuclear program. i'm worried about the conditions that as it exists in syria. >> [indiscernbile] your support early on for the no-fly zone. when of the individuals who also stood with you on that with senator kerrey. i am wondering about your views on whether he has been a proponent of more aggressive approaches than president obama? >> by you on whether center kerry -- senator kerry not be
based on differences on views. we had differences going back to 1991. i think senator kerry was good in libya. i think he should have had a much more vigorous stance toward syria. >> could you comment on the actions of the house yesterday? >> i would like to see the president get off the campaign trail and sit down the leaders of the house and senate. the american people deserve us to work all together and prevent this cliff. this is already upsetting the markets, understandably, and i think it is time to start --
stopped the rhetoric and step down together the way ronald reagan and tip o'neill did, the way clinton did with bob dole, and newt gingrich. there is a long history of this. it means people getting into a room and preventing we all want to prevent, and if we share the same goal, there should be a way for us to reach 8. i am sorry that the house yesterday was unable to pass that the dissolution, which was obviously a rebuke to their leader, but hopefully over their recess, when the come back after christmas, there will be cooler heads prevail in, and the president will begin serious negotiations. thanks. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the president has announced he is gone to make a statement in about 20 minutes on the fiscal cliff. we will take you live to the white house briefing room, settle for 5:00 p.m. or from the white house earlier today when the president nominated each senator john kerry to be secretary of state. he and his wife to join the president for the announcement in the white house roosevelt room.
>> good afternoon, everyone. when i took office of our nation was engaged in two wars, and al qaeda was entrenched in their safe havens. many of our alliances were frayed, and america's steny was suffering. for the past four years, we have begun a new era of american leadership. we ended the war in iraq, put the al qaeda core the path to the fee, and we are winding down the war in afghanistan. we have strengthened our alliances, especially in asia, and stood up for human dignity from north africa to the middle east do parma. we still face great challenges. today i can say with pride that the united states is safer, struck her, and more respected in the world. in this work, i have been grateful for an extraordinary national security team, tom donelan been a part of that, and
i am grateful to him. of course, one of the most important people in this whole transformation has been our outstanding secretary of state, my friend, secretary hillary clinton. hillary wanted very much to be here today, but she continues to recuperate. i had a chance to talk to her today, and sheik is in good spirits and could not be more excited about the announcement that i am making. over the last four years, hillary's has been everywhere in terms of her travels, and threw her tireless work to restore global leadership. she is looking forward to getting back to work, and i am looking forward to pincher creek to her service in the days to come. today i am looking ahead to my second term and i am proud to announce my choice for america's next secretary of state, jaohn
kerry. his entire life has prepared him for this role. he has a deep respect for the men and women of the state the parma. the role they play in advancing our values. having served with valor in vietnam, he understands we have a responsibility to use american power was it, especially military power, and he knows from personal experience when we send our troops into harm's way we must give them the sound strategy and a clear mission and the resources that they need to get the job done. in an extraordinarily distinguished senate career, he has played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years. as we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands we have to harness all elements of
american power and ensure they are working together. diplomatic and development, economic and political, military and intelligence, as well as the power of our values which inspires so many people around were. as he has said, we are an exceptional nation not because but because we do exceptional things. one thing was went john helped lead the way to restore our diplomatic ties to vietnam. when he returned to the country where he and so many others had fought so long ago, it sent a powerful national -- message of progress. over the years, john has earned respect of leaders around the world. he is not going to need a block of training. he has earned the respect and trust senate colleagues, democrats and republicans. it is fair to say few
individuals know as many presidents and prime ministers or grasp our foreign policy as firmly as john kerry, and this makes him a perfect choice to guide american diplomacy in the years ahead. on a personal level, john has been a great friend. i have appreciated his part a ship in helping to advance so many of my foreign policy priorities, including ratification of the new start treaty. i have caught on his talents and skills on several occasions, on challenges from sudan, south sudan, to the situation in afghanistan pick each time he has been exemplary. i also have to say thanks because john invited the young illinois state senator to address the democratic convention in boston. i was proud to serve with him on the foreign relations committee under the tutelage of joe biden, and where we all became friends. of course, nothing brings to
people closer together than weeks of debate prep. john, i am looking forward to working with you instead of debating you. i'd want. teresa. as someone who came to this country as a democrat, she understands the values america represents to the war appeared as a former interpreter at the united nations and she appreciates our our interests can be advanced. that you for being john's partner. i have to say i think i speak for john and myself, where we funeral.y inouye's i know that it will not be easy to leave the senate you love. it is fair to say there are
going to be great challenges in an uncertain world that will continue to test our nation. with all the challenges we face, i have never been more confident, more optimistic, that if we act with wisdom and with purpose, guided by our values, and we remind what binds us together as americans, the united states will continue to lead in this world for our lifetimes. john, i am grateful you have agreed to take on this assignment. i am confident the senate will confirm you quickly. you will not be able to actually appear and preside at the same time, so we will have to figure out how that works. i know you are going to be an outstanding secretary of state. thank you so much. congratulations. [applause]
>>[indiscernbile] >> the president has announced he will make a statement in about 15 minutes, and the fiscal cliff. he will take you live to the briefing room for the president's statement, scheduled for 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2 last night boehner scheduled a vote on legislation to extend tax cuts for people on incomes under $1 million. he canceled that saying in a statement he did not have the
votes to pass it appeared this morning he held a news conference, and when asked how the fiscal cliff could be prevented, he said, "god only knows." >> good morning, everyone. as you know the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass it. it is not the outcome that i wanted. that was the will of the house. unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go up on every american taxpayer and devastating defense cuts will go into effect in 10 days. the house has already passed bills addressing the fiscal cliff. we pass a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the american people
scheduled to take effect january 1, and we did that on august 1. we proposed plans over and over again with democrats who used to support it, but now they will not. i do not want taxes to go up. republicans do not want taxes to go up. we only run the house. democrats continue to run washing a. what the president has proposed so far will not be anything to solve our spending problems. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. he will not deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues that are facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and a real tax reform to address our long-term debt problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth and jobs in our country. we will continue to work with our colleagues in the house and senate on a plan that protects families and small businesses
from the fiscal cliff. >> i think we saw last night yet again the next chapter in this saga of trying to resolve the situation of the fiscal cliff. it is clear that our conference has been consistent in its commitment to do something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. dialog with this president to actually fix the problem.
i hope that we see that our colleagues on the other side of the capitol can do likewise to get serious to address the real problem of spending so that we can get on about the business of growing economy and getting people back to work. >> a lot of the arguments that you made [inaudible] connerthe president and i had a series of conversations. i told president these were my bottom lines. the president told me his numbers, $1.30 trillion in new revenues, $850 billion in spending cuts, was his bottom line. buthe could not go any further. so we see a situation where, because of the political divide
gouda home room in the country, because of the divide here in washington, trying to bridge the differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i guarantee this would have been done decades before, but we have to find a way to address this significant spending problem that we have come and we need to find a way through tax reform to begin to grow our economy in a way that will create more jobs will all>> what is the path forward? [inaudible] are you willing to put a vote on the floor [inaudible] >> there is no senate bill that has come to the house. as you know, the senate bill had a problem and continues to sit but willwe do not have a senate bill. we do have a house bill that of vine sits in the senate at extended tax rates for all americans. we have been waiting since august for the senate to act. if the senate wants to act on that bill, we will certainly take a look at it. >> [inaudible] >> i am interested in solving country.
that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president are going to continue to have to work together to address those concerns. >> [inaudible] >> i have not given consideration to it. we have a spending problem. we have to address it. we are not going to address it by kicking the can down the road, which is what you are suggesting. >> [inaudible] are you quitting? >> absolutely not. i am proud of what we've done. what mr. cantor outlined last night was that the house would
come back, if needed. we are prepared to come back, if needed. >> mr. speaker, it sounds like you are walking away from the talks. >> i did not say that. nobody ought to read anything into this. we have differences, but the country has been expanding problems. we have to get serious about addressing them. >> [inaudible] >> listen, the president knows i have always been able to deliver on any promise i have made with him. the concern that i had was that time was running short. the idea that taxes would go up on every american taxpayer i thought was wrong. trying to address the tax issue, i thought, was important to do it now, so that we do not
have taxes go up on every american and hurt our economy. >> [inaudible] >> listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. i disagree with that characterization of the bill, but that impression was out there. we had a number of our members who just really did not want to be perceived as having raised taxes. that was the real issue. one of my colleagues the other night had an analogy of 100 people drowning in a pool, and that he was a lifeguard. because he could not save any of them, does that mean that he
should not have done anything? his point was, if i can go in there and save 99 people that are drowning, that is what i should do as a lifeguard. but the perception was out there and a lot of our members did not want to deal with it. >> [inaudible] are you willing to pass a bill [inaudible] >> we have passed a bill and is sitting in the senate. we passed a bill to deal with the sequester. what we were trying to do this week was to basically jumpstart and try to kick into gear some action by the senate to avert these tax increases go into effect january 1. >> with all due respect, what impact do you think pretty of the bipartisan grand bargain that you could check with president obama could have on
[inaudible] >> at some point we have to address the spending problem we have, but we can now cut our way to prosperity. we need real economic growth. many believe on both sides of the aisle at the fundamental reform of our tax code will help get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. and more americans with tax credit. how we get there, i do not know. all i know that we are committed to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capital and white house, to address this. >> last week, i ask you if you were concerned about losing the speakership. in light of what happened last night, if you're not concerned, should you be? >> no, i am not. you have all heard me say this. i have told my colleagues. if you do the right things
every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. while we have not been able to get the votes to avert 99.8% of the tax increases, i do not think -- they were not taking that out on me. they are dealing with a perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. thank you. vaughn >> the president will make a statement and a few minutes. we'll take you live to the white house briefing room for the president's statement settle at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, and three hours after boehner's conference, an anc policy and other democrats spoke with reporters calling for a bipartisan plan to prevent the tax increases.
those are scheduled to take place january 1. >> for weeks, we have been saying that time is running short. upon us.stmas the president made concessions in his latest proposal. we hope republicans will consider it so we can iron out further differences and bring it to the floor. president obama moved closer to the republicans on rates and said -- and in terms of spending cuts, he was willing to make more spending cuts, contrary to representations' about his position you may have hurt. every time we are close to a solution, and it was a year and half ago in the summer, the republicans walked away.
when we thought we were close this week, republicans decided to follow another path, a path that led them over the cliff in which they did not have the votes. that was it then, this is now. let's go back to the negotiation table. we have no right to walk out the door of congress with no clear path to a resolution of this challenge rate it is time to get back on track, time to get back to the negotiating table. we must work together in a bipartisan way to create jobs, to grow the economy, strength in the middle class, reduce the deficit, and to do so in a responsible way kate we can and we must get the job done now. i am pleased to yield to the distinguished democratic whip. >> i think the leader for her comments and i agree with her. last night possible vote showed
us that resolving the challenge that confronts us for the fiscal cliff cannot and will not be done with a partisan vote. with a partisan vote. it showed us that we must work together in a bipartisan way, he and that we must preclude going over the fiscal cliff, by a balanced agreement that democrats and republicans him support, the president can sign, and that can pass the senate. we should not seek taxes go up on working-class americans. we should not see doctors put a risk in terms of their delivery of services to seniors. we should not see the alternative minimum tax and put at risk. we need to lend confidence to our country.
some years ago, he confronted partisan gridlock. newt gingrich and bill clinton got together to reach an agreement it was very controversial. newt gingrich said -- this is october 20, 1998. "i will say to each and every member of this house, unless they have a plan they think can get 218 votes over here, can pass through a filibuster in the senate, and get signed, there is no responsible vote except yes. " america expects its congress to get to yes. we are prepared to work with the speaker and with the republican leadership. we all need to be willing to work with the president of united states to get to yes, for our country and for our constituents. now, and want to yield to my
very dear friend, the assistant leader of the democratic caucus, my friend jim clyburn, from south carolina. >> think you very much, rep hoyer. last year, when the tea party republicans stymied the efforts of the deficit reduction committee that we called "the super committee," we said at the time that it would take a definitive election to decide the matter. november 6, the american people spoke. the american people spoke very clearly, and i think decisively. president obama has won all but one of the soda ash called swing states. he won a landslide victory in
the electoral college, and he won the popular vote by more than 4.5 million votes. democrats in the senate added to their numbers, and won a popular vote margin of 56-44. and here in the people's house, more than 1.5 million more americans voted for democrats then voted for republicans. the american people have spoken loud and clear, yet the republican leadership continues to exercise extreme partisanship, in defiance of the will of the people. i am hopeful that the spirit of the season will take hold over the next several days, and we can come back here after christmas with less partisan
extremism, and work together to achieve honorable compromises that will arrest the widening wealth step and create more fear of violence approaches to address in our nation's most urgent charges. with that, i would like to yield to our distinguished and vice chair, from new york. >> in politics, it is not a zero sum game. the least, that is my belief. it ought not be. we need to work together. there is no partisan path toward a solution. every solution facing our nation's problems must be done in a bipartisan way. that means that neither side gets 100% of what they are looking to achieve. "we saw last night was really an abdication of the process.
the president has been working in good faith with speaker boehner, continues to what to do that. it is my hope we can come back to the table and continue to work with the president to work out a solution. "we have seen is something we have observed from our side of the aisle for the last four years. the republican caucus, whether the minority or majority, refused to work with our side of the aisle. the people of this election spoke otherwise. they want to see us working together. they want to see us lead him to the 113 congress, working in a more bipartisan way. i would like to turn it over to the ranking member of the budget committee, an ally in the fight for the american people. >> thanks, and it is great to be
here with our colleagues. this morning, speaker boehner said the following. the house did not take up the tax bill last night because we did not have the votes to pass it. it is not the outcome of wanted. the was the will of the house. that is what speaker banner said from this podium this morning. "we are doing today is calling upon the speaker to put something on the floor of the house that can pass the house. he should be -- and uncompromising, bipartisan bill on to the floor of the house, and let the house worked its will. the house has said no to speaker boehner's plan b. it is time to say yes to a balanced, compromised bill. at the very least, the speaker should take up the bill the senate has already passed on a
bipartisan basis, so we can do that right away. there is nothing to stop the speaker from taking up that bill tomorrow or any day. nothing in the law. nothing in the rules of the house. if he takes it up, he will allow the house to work its will on that particular bill. we call upon the speaker to allow the house to work its will, as it did last night in saying no to plan b. this house will say yes, we believe, to a bipartisan, compromise bill. we believe it will say yes to the senate-passed bill that is already pending. with that, and when to turn it over to our good friend and colleague. >> think you very much. i have learned in government or politics, when you say, "my way
or the highway," you usually end up on the highway. republicans have abdicated their responsibility to get this done. they need to come back to washington. they need to negotiate a compromise, based on what the president put forward. it is time to get to plan c. plan c is compromise, and plan c is comprehensive. come back to washington. work on a compromise, the basis of which should be the president's compromise. every time we have offered a compromise, the republicans have gone in the other direction. we were here. they were there. we went this direction. they have left town. that is no way to cut a bill that is comprehensive.
>> as the speaker said last night, the house did not take up the bill because we did not have votes to pass it. it is not the outcome that i wanted. that was what -- the was not the will of the house. it may have been the will of the caucus. you do not know the wheel of the house until you bring the bill to the floor. i believe there would be bipartisan support for the $250,000 proposal we have as a discharge petition. i think that is why they did not bring it up. they knew how republicans would vote for it. and the questions? -- any questions? >> [indiscernible] given what happened last night, is there any appetite to change the proposal, to take some
things out of it that your caucus does lot like? -- does not like? >> i think the best thing to do is to go to the table. the fastest thing to do is to bring it to the floor for consideration. and it up so we can iron out our differences. go to the table so we can iron out our differences. i believe that can be done. when the president came forward with a proposal this week, it was on the strength of how close the president and the speaker had them. the president came closer to the speaker's position, in terms of spending cuts and tax rates. every time we agree to changes, they go to a different field altogether. although many of us do not like every aspect of the president's proposal, and if we did,
probably the republicans would reject it -- it is a compromise on both sides. that is a good place to start. i believe my colleagues will speak to that. >> if it is pretty clear you were all going to vote against plan b, speaker boehner said this was to avert going off a cliff. if these tax increases passed without a vote, and what to do you think about being so strongly against the vote? >> first of all, we are here for the middle class. this bill was a direct assault on the middle class. the idea that the speaker says "i am given additional tax cuts to the wealthiest in the country, while i raise taxes on the middle-class," i do not
think that is a good idea or a dancer. -- a good idea. >> the bill had no chance of passage through the united states senate and was not going to be signed by the president of the united states. we were concerned that we were wasting a 72 to 120 hours at a time when the clip confronts us in just a few days, and action on behalf of working americans is essential. in order for action to occur -- that is why i referred to mr. gingrich. we have to have a bill that can get to the senate and be signed by the president. we did not want to waste another 96 hours, so i am pleased that this was defeated. it was defeated not on the house floor, but in the republican conference. apparently, a pretty heated
conference. i would urge the speaker to again and sit with president obama and reached a compromise that will be a reasonable one, and that confront the fiscal challenge that confronts our country, which is what this has been about, and to confront doing things essential to do between now and generic to. -- a.m., january -- and january 2. the other aspect you go about that need to be addressed -- the opposition, was that a partisan bill was being put forward, a partisan bill that does more to give republicans a place to stand them it was legislation that would give relief to america.
"i think it is very important for us to really take a look at what was being proposed. if my reading is correct, and i am no expert on these matters, but i can tell you i read that the sequester was being postponed or gotten rid of in this proposal. by getting rid of all the deductions. by cutting food stamps. by getting rid of unemployment. this is a strange time of year to be making those kinds of proposals. those of the things we were objecting to. we want this to be fair and balanced, and i do not think it is fair to balance this budget are in the back of those people who can ill afford those kinds of cuts.
>> taking it to the point he did, about the tax cuts in the reconciliation bill on the floor, it was a terrible combination. it is like a reverse robin hood. you are giving a $50,000 tax cut to people making over a million dollars a year, at a cost of $1,000 to middle income taxpayers, because of changes in the law that affected them. at the same time, the have a reconciliation bill that says 20 million children would have reduced nutrition and food benefits. and 1.4 million seniors would not have meals on wheels. the list goes on and on. when people say, why can't you come to agreement? if you want to come to agreement, you can. but if you are coming close to
agreement and you start taking food out of the mouths of babies and seniors to give tax cuts to the wealthiest and tax bills to the middle class, as well as keeping hundreds of billions of dollars on the national debt, because we do not believe in government, it is hard to come to agreement. i believe there are enough republicans who do want to reach a solution. that is why we are hopeful that something can happen. >> the nra press conference -- >> we will come back to that. >> do you believe there are 122 republicans who are willing to vote for a deal that democrats can back?esident'
and what other concessions are democrats in the house willing to put on the table? >> in return for what? >> 120 republicans. >> the package is the package. it is not about us. it is what it means to the great middle class. when we did the much talked about iraq vote, there were 86 democrats, over 140 democrats voting against. that is 60% of my caucus against what i brought to the floor. 120 is not the number. the number is, what does it mean to middle income families? >> the president has already met the republicans more than halfway. i think people who have been following these negotiations
recognize the president has already moved remarkably over a short time. remember that he originally proposed a revenue of 1.6 trillion dollars. people who have been following the conversation now that is less revenue than proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. the president got that from 1.6 trillion dollars to $1.20 trillion. the president has significantly increased cuts he is willing to make. that comes on top of one trillion dollars in cuts as part of the budget control out. and even higher number, if you look at cuts taken over the last year, including some very controversial provisions that many of us in our caucus have serious reservations about. it is indication of the fact the president is able to meet the republicans more than half way.
i think the president has struck the balance. i think the speaker should bring up the bill like the. it is parents and compromise. leader pelosi did when she was speaker of the house. with a bill that dealt with the iraq war -- these are big, national moments. the full house should be able to work its will, democrats and republicans together. it is important the speaker put the good of the country above republican house caucus politics. >> just one more on this, because we have to go to work. >> characterized the offer is heat and the president traded last week as their bottom line. he has gone as far as he can go. >> are you talking about the next proposal?
this is so out of context for me, i do not know. i think we can come to the table, iron out differences. that is how we will find everybody's bottom line. the bottom line is that the american people are working today. where is the congress? why have we not finish this task? we have had a week after week of two-day sessions. no, people are leaving. nobody knows what is going on, in terms of the schedule. we are coming to the end of the line, in terms of this year. we have to get it done. we have to avoid downgrading our credit rating. we have to avoid cuts to our investments in the future -- infrastructure, education.
those kind of investments bring more money to the treasury. the conversation i have had with the president last night, i know he believes we must avoid the cliff, and we need to get something done. i cannot explain to anybody what the path the republicans took this week was about. how was that about? what were they trying to prove? first, they had the $250,000 that would be on the floor. i thought republicans would vote for it. that is why they pulled it. then, they have this $1 million plant, this $50,000 christmas gift to people making over $1 million a year, paid for by a $1,000 increase to the middle- class. when the president asked the leader, what is the mood?
how you see this from your perspective? i say to him what i say to you. i do not know what their bottom line is. i do not know if they know what their bottom line is. it would be interesting for them to tell you. the bottom line is what i just described in the bill yesterday. $50,000 if you make over $1 million. if you are a senior on meals and wheels or a child who needs access to nutrition, for no sgr, which is the ticket for seniors to have access to medicare, -- it is not responsible. and it is not clear to see what the path might lead. i still have confidence that the speaker and some in the caucus who have ideology and doctrinaire approaches, when you
come to the table, you have a responsibility to legislate. try to influence the decision the best you can, but to find a solution. >> my question is about the nra. wayne lapierre called on congress to pass legislation to put armed guards in every school. do any of you think that is a good idea? >> i think it is an incredibly false notion to think that simply by having armed guards in our schools, somehow that will deter someone who is dead on trying to take a only the lives
of other people, but themselves as well. i think it is the opposite direction the american people want us to move him. as pertains to the issue of guns and who has access to them, as well as the mental health issues we are facing -- i think we need to look at this in a more rational way. i think the way the nra is approaching this is irrational. i think the american people understand that. they were expecting a completely different response. i think what we are looking for from the nra is a more collaborative approach. what can you bring? what can you talk about that will move the country forward? >> i do not believe those remarks represent anywhere near a significant portion of america. i do not believe, frankly, that
they represent the majority of views of responsible members of the national rifle association. the one guns to hunt. they want guns to protect their home of their house. the recommendation of an arms escalation in america is not, i think, a solution the american people believe i am very hopeful that we will go in a direction which will say that these weapons of mass killing capability will be limited. magazines will be limited. we will make sure that people who have access to dangerous weapons in fact are mentally healthy, to the extent that we can get there. i do not think those remarks, which i think or unfortunate, represent even the majority of his own members.
i would be surprised if that were the case. this certainly do not represent the views of the overly majority of the american public. >> i was in the funeral service for a senator inouye and when those remarks were made. i did not hear them. he did say one way to stop a gunman with a gun is a good way with a gun. -- a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. escalation is not a positive force. we know this is complicated. we know that 90% of people who have been diagnosed or have a mental illness do not engage in violent a committee. -- violent activity. all of a sudden, we are saying it is people with mental illness
responsible for this. no, they aren't. that does not mean we should not care for those with mental illness. that is why we passed the mental-health parity bill, and have in the affordable care act , parity for mental illness. it is very important. for the nra and others to sort of shield themselves by saying it is the mentally ill, and therefore we need to have more armed cops in the schools, or more guns in the school -- will have it on the teacher's desk? and with a minute. have it locked up some place. and go and get it? this does not make sense. we have to reduce violence. we need a reduction of violence in our society. the challenge we have interesting mental illness-- in
looking at mental illness, we co-sponsored legislation to build high-capacity assault magazines that enables somebody to have 30 shots instead of 10. that seems like a lot to me, but at least it gives somebody a fighting chance. to look at an assault weapons ban -- all these things are being considered. maybe and injured vietnam vet could channel the energy of our caucus. i met with his and violence community the other night. you know what it all came back to? we understand about youth violence and the rest, but you have to get rid of these high-
performance guns. magazines. whatever you call them. i call them equivalence, if they told me i do not know what i of talking about-- i called them a clip once, adn they told me i didn't know what i was talking about. they are a magazine. we are making all these cuts in samsa, where mental-health illness is addressed. they need to be addressed, in addition to the influence on gun violence. we need to address violence in our society, in the glorification of it in some places. we have to address the actual issue of how do we give a fair chance. if anyone of us and everyone of you had a chance to pull that magazine out of the hands of the shooter to protect those kids,
he would do it. we have the opportunity to do it not only physically, but legislatively, to take that out of the hands. you know congressman ron bar bour, who was congresswoman giffords' assistant and was wounded that day. he has had 20 years of experience working in the community. he understands the gun violence issue and thinks the only way to keep the high-performance magazines out of the hands of people with mental health challenges is to keep them out of the hands of every room. a lot, -- of everyone. i look forward to reading the full statement. chris murphy came out of the funeral and this is what he
twisted. he comes out of the district of newtown. "walking out of another funeral, i was handed the nra transcript , the most revolting, tone-deaf statement i have ever seen. , walking out of another funeral, i was handed the emirate transcript, the most revolting, hit home-the statement i have ever seen -- the most revolting, tone-deaf statement i have ever seen." take you all very much. -- thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> president obama is going to be making a statement about the fiscal cliff. that was scheduled to start about half an hour ago. who will take you back to the white house briefing room as soon as he appears. to recap some of the action from
earlier today, senate majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell spoke on the floor about the fiscal cliff. senator reid call on the house to pass similar legislation. senator mcconnell said current tax rates should be extended for one year for all taxpayers. >> last night, the house of representatives approved "we have known for quite a while. speaker boehner's plan to rise taxes on 25 million middle-class tax payers, while handing out bonuses to millionaires and billionaires, was dead on arrival. no plan at all. it couldn't pass the senate. turns out, it couldn't pass the house either. it's too bad speaker boehner wasted a week in this futile political stunt, and that's all
we can all it, mr. president, but at least now house republicans have gten the message loud and clear that comprehensive -- a comprehensive solution to the looming fiscal cliff will need to be a bipartisan solution. no comprehensive agreement can pass either chamber without both democrats and republican votes. which means any solution will have to ask the most fortunate among us to pay a little more to reduce the deficit and ensure hardship doesn't -- hardship doesn't take the nation to the brink of default. nothing that has passed the house of representatives fits that test, nothing. a few days ago, president obama and speaker boehner appeared poised to strike a grand bargain, but we have heard that before. instead of making hard choices or compromising, as president obama has been willing to do, the speaker retreated to his corner and resorted to political
stunts. but that stunt fell flat. it's time for the speaker and all republicans to return to the negotiating table. we have never left, mr. president. it's time for republicans to work with us to find the middle ground. that's the only hope of averting the devastating impacts of the fiscal cliff. mr. president, the fiscal cliff is -- needs to be avoided. in the meantime, the speaker should bring the middle-class tax cut passed by the senate five months ago to the floor of the house for a vote. we know it would pass. all he has to do is let democrats vote with some republicans. it will >> we are going to leave this year. you can find the rest of the statement on line. we take you to the white house briefing room. we are waiting for president obama. he is going to be making a statement on the fiscal cliff.
which are live. as soon as he appears, live coverage on c-span. earlier today, senator harry reid met with the president about the fiscal cliff negotiations. >> the president will be out here in a matter of moments. harry reid of nevada, we have also learned a [indiscernible] john boehner was unable to get his own plan to the floor of the house. >> good afternoon, everybody. for the last few weeks, i have been working with the leaders of both parties on a proposal to get our deficit under control, to avoid tax cuts -- to avoid tax hikes on the middle-class. and to make sure we can spur
jobs and economic growth. a balanced proposal that cuts spending, but also ask the wealthiest americans to pay more, a proposal that will strengthen the middle class over the long haul, and our economy over the long haul. in the course of these negotiations, i offered to compromise with republicans in congress. a myth and halfway on taxes and more than half way hamas -- i met them halfway on taxes and more than half way on spending. today, i am still willing, to get a comprehensive package done. i still believe that reducing our deficit is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our economy and the confidence of our businesses. i remain committed to working towards that goal, whether it happens all at once, or whether it happens in several different steps. but in 10 days, we face a deadline. in 10 days, under current law,
tax rates are scheduled to rise on most americans. and even though democrats and republicans are arguing about whether those rates should go up for the wealthiest individuals, all of us, every single one of us, agrees that tax rates should not go up for the other 98% of americans, which includes 97% of small businesses. every member of congress believes that. every democrat. every republican. so there is absolutely no reason not to protect these americans from a tax hike. but the very least, let us agree reitman -- right now on what we already agree on. let us get that done. i just spoke to speaker boehner and met with senator reid. i have asked congress to work on a package that prevents a tax
hike on middle-class americans, protect unemployment insurance for 2 million americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on growth and deficit reduction. that is an achievable goal. that can get done in 10 days. once this legislation is agreed to, i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it passed both chambers. i will immediately signed it into law before january 1 1/2 of next year. averting this tax hike is not a democratic or republican responsibility. with their votes, the american people have determined that governing is a shared responsibility between both parties. in this congress, laws can only pass with support from democrats and republicans. and that means nobody gets 100% of what they want. everybody has to give a little
bit in a sensible way. we move forward together, or we do not move forward and all. so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog and have some christmas cookies, sings and christmas carols -- sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones. i would ask members of congress to think about the obligations we have to the people. think about the hardship that so many people will in your -- endure if congress does nothing at all. just as our economy is starting to recover, and we are starting to see optimistic signs -- we have seen up statistics in a
range of areas, including housing. this is not the time for self- inflicted wounds, certainly not those coming from washington. there is so much to be done on jobs, income, education, and energy. we are a week away from one of the worst tragedies in memory. so we have got work to do on gun safety. a host of other issues. these are all challenges we can meet. these are all colleges we have to meet, if we want our kids to grow up in america that is full of opportunity and possibility, as much opportunity and possibility that our parents and our grandparents left for us. but we are only going to be able to do it together. we are going to have to find some common ground. the challenge we have got right now is that the american people are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful, and much
more willing to compromise and ce and act acrifi responsibly, than their elected representatives are. that is a problem. there is a mismatch between how everybody else is thinking about these problems, democrats and republicans up side of this town, and how folks are acting here. we have to get the aligned. and we only have 10 days to do that. i hope every member of congress is thinking about that. nobody can get 100th% of what they want. this is not simply a contest between parties in terms of who looks good and who does not. there are real world consequences to what we do here. i want next year to be a year of strong economic growth. i want next year to be a year in which more jobs are created, and more businesses are started, and
we are making progress on all the challenges we have out there, some of which we do not have as much control over as we do in terms of shaping a sensible budget. this is something within our capacity to solve. it does not take that much work. we just have to do the right thing. so call me an optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. with that, i want to wish every american a merry christmas. and because we did not get this done, but i will see you next week -- this done, i will see you next week. >> president obama, speaking from the white house about the fiscal cliff negotiations. we are going to take your phone calls. the numbers are up on your screen. we will see what takes place.
make sure to new york tv if you call in, and call in on a line that best reflects your political views. if you have called in on the past 30 days, give others a chance to call in. we are going to go to adrian, democrats line. what you think about what you just heard? caller: i think he did a good job. americans should pay every tax, but what about the rich people? the rich people should pay a little bit more taxes than the middle class, because the middle class who do not deserve to have
more income tax. the tax -- the rich people should have it. host: what you think about what has been happening on capitol hill, the house going up today for a break? caller: they should not have no break all. they should constantly work on the issue. it doesn't matter if you have christmas. you can do that later on. and that is what they are there for. they should be constantly working on it. the speaker of the house should agree with what obama said. when he got elected, he said he wanted people who made $250,000 or more to pay income taxes. and that is what they should do. host: of the independent line, rick, from new york. caller: this does not surprise me.
this already was known in the election. the president of the united states is a demagogue, who unfortunately has pushed the republicans all the way to the end. john boehner had no other choice but to tell the caucus, "nothing i could do." the democrats did not want to support the plan that john boehner put forth. obviously. host: sorry to interrupt you. what you think about some of what the republicans have been saying in the house? not taking up the speaker's plan b, that he had proposed. caller: today, i read in "the washington post," that it is obvious that the republicans --
not only the so-called tea party. i understand that he did not have 217 votes for his plan to pass. they took away -- he was given one year to obama to continue to spend a and spend. one year to increase the debt ceiling. one more year. how in the world anybody is going to support that? i supported it at the beginning. i supported the plan b that boehner put forward, but i could not support it when i am going to give obama more authority to continue to spend and spend and spend. host: you can see on your screen president obama just spoke at the white house a moment ago. we are taking your phone calls. want to see what you think about the fiscal cliff
negotiations. what do you think about the president's remarks and and what has been happening on capitol hill? we have a call from columbia, south carolina. what do you think? caller: i agree with the president. not $400,000, but $250,000. it does not matter whether the president calls, begs, cries. those republicans will not agree with anything. they are going home now to their fancy homes. according to mitt romney, forget about the 47%. i am 71. my husband is 80. we will survive. the president should let all of the tax expire, all bush tax cuts, whatever it is, expire. start from scratch. we would not feel it. it is over 10 years.
no matter what little we have, we will survive, and we will deal with what we have. host: we have been covering a lot of the fiscal cliff negotiations, what has been happening on the hill. we just heard from the white house, from president obama. you can go to our special page of the season and website, hamas -- our cspan website, c- span.org/fiscalcliff. we are taking your phone calls. we want to see what to think about the remarks from the president and what has been happening on capitol hill. the numbers are on your screen. we go to arizona, the republicans line. caller: i think what is happening is that these congressmen, no matter whether republican or democrat, have been elected to fix this country, and they forget that is what they have an elected to do. they get there, and they get
themselves in a fix because the promise so much to everybody who has been in their campaigns and that they forget that they really have a country that has them on its knees for the past decade or two. host: why would you have them do, if you could tell them a prescription for how to handle this? caller: i would lock them up and tell them who could not go home for christmas. i would give them a lot of water to drink and would not let them go to the bathroom. i would say, until you get this fixed, nobody goes home. host: the president talked about a mismatch between how lawmakers on capitol hill and people at home are viewing the negotiations. the next call is from david, in chicago, independent line. caller: merry christmas. i got a kick out of the previous caller about giving it a glass
of water to drink. that would kind of focus the mind. i think the president called it right. i am not a big fan of his on some issues, but come on. they are all making good salaries. most of them are millionaires. the rest of the country, most of the country, has already gone over the physical cliff. 99.8% of us have to go to work every day to earn a paycheck. if people are unemployed. and we are letting legal workers into the country. we are trying to create jobs. there is only 233,000 people that make over a million dollars a year. they can certainly afford to have the tax cuts expire, and pay an extra 4% over $500,000. even warren buffett, who wrote the editorial, says it is about time to pay at least the rate that wage earners have to make.
i think the elites have basically broken faith with the people who go to work every day to make this country work. there are so many problems to be resolved, and all they are doing is to bickering among themselves. it is no wonder that congress only has a 9% or 12% approval rating. it is discussed the. i am almost ready for an occupy congress movement to take over and do the people's work. people are sick of this. we are being crushed by the cheap foreign labor, being crushed with jobs offshore. we have already gone over the fiscal cliff, and the millionaires are just trying to prevent themselves from going over. host: we are going to west virginia, the republicans were in. caller: i am calling because i think i am pretty much feeling
the same way everyone else in the country is. president obama, even though i am a republican, he did work with congress. he extended the tax cuts for how many years now since they were to expire? i think it was in 2008. he has worked, in that regard, with the congress. the congressman who have signed this pledge -- i cannot remember the man's name. host: have grover norquist. caller: you know what? i do not know where their priorities are. i do not care how much money -- you can make as much money as you want. you can have a part-time job and work minimum-wage. but the congress has to realize there is that the verse group of people. you cannot force hamas anymore on the working -- cannot force any more on the working class. host: where should the line be?
caller: i thought the first approach of the senate was $400,000. it was realistic. within the next one to two years, as the economy improves, then go with the middle class people and increase fares, but not at the rates they are going to go over the cliff over. i am a self-employed. i have my own business. i have for 35 years. it is very difficult to even put anything back for yourself. i am paying 15.8% social security tax. i do not mind. my mother is benefiting from it. other elderly people are benefiting. i do not want them to have to suffer. host: i appreciate your comments. we are going to go to ohio, he democrats line. what you think about what you have been hearing barracks hamas
-- hearing? caller: i am very upset with obama for not keeping his word. he extended the bush tax cuts in 2010. he promised he was not going to do that again. now, when i see him, i see him compromising. he always gives too much. he put social security or the table, which had nothing to do with the deficit. the rich in this country have to pay their taxes, he like many years ago curium -- years ago. it was 60%, and obama is doing a big mistake. we defeated the republicans. awhirl we defeated voter purge. we defeated paul ryan and his
plan, mitt romney and his plan. we defeated all of that. host: got your point. michael is calling from georgia on the independent line. what you think about the fiscal cliff negotiations? caller: he why think it is a rough time for president obama. and when they came in office, they had the republicans signed a contract. times were better. as time goes on, you have to change. no one expected that we were going to hit this cliff until it was after the next election happened, and they continued to get worse as we went along. host: the senate is in next week. the house is gone. caller: they should stay and do their job. i watch c-span a lot. you see that the senate stays in a lot. quorum call. i have never seen anybody sit there were you just pay people
to sit. host: we are going to move on to new jersey, the republican line. what do you think? caller: i think they should look at the politicians and see how much money they are making. i have to work every day. host: where would you draw the tax cut line, or would you? have $1 million? $400,000? caller: may be $500,000. if you have to go back to, cut the spending. these politicians are making a lot of money. you do not see any cuts for them. senators, after three years, they get life benefits. host: what did you think about what the president had to say? caller: it does not cover anything. it is good talk. i do not care how much somebody makes. i am middle class. where is it going to end?
spending this money, where is it going to end? host: our last call is going to be from michigan. we have shelley on the independent line. what do you think about the president's remarks or the fiscal cliff beck's caller: -- fiscal fliff? caller: there was not much else he could save. they are not going to make an agreement. this is why they are called the do nothing congress. they do not do anything. the republicans, to me -- i feel they let the people belong to the tea party make the stamps for them. even if some of them what to compromise, the tea party gets in there. for some reason, they listen to them. it is a shame, her because most americans, they need help. we need help. and we do not get anything. in michigan, where i live, the
governor has knocked down the unions, you know? he has done the teachers terrible. now, we have to spend more money on our social security. all of us should protest. i do not care what city or state we belong in. we should protest against this do-nothing congress. host: you can always check out our special page on our website, set up for all things related to the fiscal cliff. also, a live twitter stream of comments from viewers and reporters. we will leave our phone calls there for the time being. also on line, check out the resource area. it has related links to try to get your hands wrapped around the issue of the fiscal cliff. all of that on the website.
and earlier today, president obama, vice president and biden, and former president and bill clinton spoke at the services for the hawaiian senator who died of respiratory complications on monday, at age 88. he will be returned home to hawaii tomorrow, and a public service will be held at the national memorial cemetery of the pacific on sunday, before he is laid to rest in his home state. the service is about one hour and 45 minutes.
>> i am resurrection, and i am light, says the lord. whoever has faith in the show have life, though he dies. everyone who has life and has committed himself to me in faith shall not die forever. as for me, i know that my redeemer lives, and that of the last you will stand upon the earth. after my awaking, he will raise me up. and in my body, i shall see god. my eyes shall behold him who is my friend and not a stranger.
ford none of us has life in themself, and nunn becomes his own master when we die. for if we have life, we are alive in the lord, and if we die, we die in the lord. so then whether we live or die, we are the lord's possession. happy from now on are those who die in the lord. so it is said of the spirit, for the rest from their labors.
>> as dean of washington national cathedral, on behalf of the bishop, i welcome you to this service of senate -- celebrating the life of senator daniel inouye. today's event combines a mixture of celebration and sorrow. it is our privilege the host and join so many distinguished men and women here today to say goodbye to a great leader and
>> and also with you. >> god, we remember before you this day our brother daniel. we thank you for giving him to us. his friendly and friends to know as a companion on our earthly program rich. compassionbound us consoles us who mourn. so in a quiet confidence we may continue our so adjourn on earth and by your call we aren't reunited with those who have gone before us, all men.
>> a reading from net month -- from limitations. the steadfast love of the lord never ceases. his mercies never come to an end. great is your faithfulness. the lord is my portion, says my soul. therefore i will hope in him. the lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that 6 in. it is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the lord. for the lord will not reject forever. although he causes grief, he will have compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. for he does not willingly a flight or grief anyone. the word of the lord. >> thanks be to god.
loss of our good and great america. president obama, vice president biden, president clinton, distinguished members of the congress, others who have gathered here to honor the legacy of daniel inouye, this morning we celebrated it life of a patriot, a life defined by courage, by service to country, by sacrifice for others. soldier, senator, statesman, but down deep always a patriot of enormous resolve and principle. is is a compelling story of what it means to be an american. he had an impact on so many lives, including mine.
his accomplishments are the stuff of legend. battle tested in world war ii, despite severe wounds, prevailed in combat, recipient of our nation's highest award for valor, the medal of honor, distinguished senator from hawaii, president pro tem of the senate. his life also exemplified the qualities most revered by his community -- quiet humility, respect for others, standing on principles that matter, family, service to community. a modest man who was assertive in doing what was right. when america was plunged into the crucible of world war ii, nowhere was the attack on pearl harbor were keenly felt than in the japanese-american community.
it is difficult today to recall the full intensity of fear, of confusion, of suspicion, of recrimination, even hatred, that emerged in the days and weeks and months following that surprise attack 71 years ago. and despite the clear and justice in each victim and relocating so many in the japanese community, second- generation americans of japanese ancestry, demanded the right to defend this country in time of war like other american citizens. to our country's credit, their voices were heard, leading to the creation of all nisea units commanded by caucasian officers -- courage, process in battle,
dressed in what another, and determination made these units legendary. the 100th infantry battalion, the 442nd regimental combat team, the military intelligence service -- these were not just good units or unique, because of ethnic homogeneity. they were a premier fighting units, among the best in u.s. history, the soldiers of the 442nd regimental comment -- combat team served with such distinction that 21 of them were awarded the medal of honor. no other regiment has this distinction, given its size and length of service. their legacy is a drumbeat of loyalty of courage, honor, dedication, and sacrifice. dan inouye served as an en
infantrymen. he was promoted to sergeant. he was commissioned to second lieut. at age 20. less than a year later, while leading his platoon on an attack on enemy ship machine gun positions, he was grievously wounded and permanently disabled. his actions on 21 april 1945 in italy were a towering example of strength, stamina, courage, and determination. for which he received one of the 21 medical -- middle of honors. he and other nisei veterans achieve something monumental, and a sense they had earned the right to take larger roles in
their communities. that also came home tolerant of the use of politics different than their own, a sentiment born of the intolerance they had experienced after pearl harbor, but more keenly felt after the horrors they witnessed in liberating dachau, and they understood the understand -- the importance of good citizenship, fair play, hard work a lot of respect for others, and for our flag. i had relatives who served in these stories units, characteristic of them all was rarely if ever speaking about what they had done in the war. from them, my generation learned to find virtue in humility and inability of hard work and the value of family and the confidence that we in america could achieve anything. they taught us the hope -- to
hope and to dream. then to do something to do something about it. his service helped remove all doubt about this citizenship of all americans of japanese ancestry. that is the legacy he and his generation bequeathed to me and mine. it influenced the way i was able to live my life. i would never have had the opportunity to serve as the chief of staff of our army had he and the others not purchased back for me in blood my birthright to compete fully without any question about my loyalty. this morning, i salute a friend who was more than heroic in battle, more than strong enough in enduring the terrible wounds of war, more than determined in overcoming in justice, and more than generous in sharing his enormous gifts with me and with
others. dan inouye and demint of these units sacrifice so much to give us all the opportunities we have. there's no -- there is great comfort for me in these reminders. we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and i have had the broadest of shoulders to stand on. aloha, senator, aloha, and mahalo. thank you.
friend, an automobile accident steals away a child, lives are cut short, dreams are denied. often debt is so troubling, we ask why? why him? why her? why now? and although i wish i could answer all those questions which the authority c, death is a mystery. in the case of senator daniel inouye, is a mystery, and although there is sadness, there is no regret. ecclesiastes, the third chapter, second verse tells us to everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under heaven, a time to be born, and a time to die. inouye's tie. anywa
he lived a full and productive life. he was 88 years old when he died, and he lives each of those 88 years to those -- to his fullest. he was a war hero, a decorated soldier who left the innocence of youth on an italian battlefield, where he defended emanation's freedom, even as that nation questioned the loyalty of patriots who looked like him. he was a healing your, an example of the resilience of the human body and the human spirit whose results to live a life of service was hardened, not broken, by 21 months recovering from his wound in an army hospital in michigan. he was a legislative hero, a
progressive democrat who would never hesitate to corroborate with a republican colleague for the good of this country. in 1968, when the country was riven by racism and divided by war, he called the nation's nerves with an eloquent keynote address before the democratic national convention in chicago. daniel inouye advocated for the rights of all americans, regardless of the color of their skin or whether their parents -- or where their parents were born. he served with distinction as the chairman of the commerce committee and the appropriations committee. during his time as chairman, he turned and neglected committee into a powerful voice for native populations across this great country. remarkably, dan search for more than 34 years with his best friend, the late republican
senator ted stevens of alaska, on the defense appropriations subcommittee. their friendship stain as an example of a remarkable -- stands as an example of the remarkable things that senators can accomplish when they said political parties aside. they were a formidable force who supported this nation bus fighting men and women, working to ensure sailors and soldiers -- were the best trained and best equipped in times of peace and times of war. . inouye also served as a member of the watergate committee. whenever there was a difficult job to do, whenever we needed a noble man, a nobleman to lean on, we always turn to senator daniel inouye. it should come to no surprise that he died with great dignity.
this is no urban legend. the capitol physician said he has watched people die, but never with such dignity. irene, his wife, talked about the solemnity of the event. the chaplain, security officers were there with him. minutes before he pass away, before he died, he shook the hands of friends and the family who surrounded him. he thanked the doctors, thank the nurses for their care and attention. he thanked his security detail for their protection over the years. he wrote notes detailing his blast which is minutes will 40 away.wayed
told his wife, irene, i would appreciate my speaking before you today pink, a gesture that touches my heart more than words that i can express. then he said aloha, and he quietly toward the lord. if had faced death many times and especially during the war he was fighting. he would often tell us, told me on many occasions, that during his life he had just been lucky. he always said just lucky. dan inouye was not likely. he was a blessed man did he had worked to do here among us, and he stayed here until that work was done. as we are also told in ecclesiastes, there is a time to every purpose, and this was senator inouye's time. the 24 the sum asks who may ascend the mountain of the lord,
who may stand in his holy place? the question is answered, the one who has clean hands and a pure heart. that is daniel inouye, a man with a pure heart, a man with clean hands. during the 1968 convention, dan taught the nation that aloha means not just hello, not just goodbye, but it also means i love you. aloha was dan's last word on earth. i say to my friend, danny, a mohawk, i love you, and goodbye until we meet again.
eloquently, -- reid has said so eloquently, daniel inouye lived a full, long life, so it is our great honor here to celebrate. i am grateful that so many of his colleagues in the senate and both parties, leaders and members of the house and the administration, and especially the members of the diplomatic corps, have come because, i hope in their -- in this short service we can capture the character and contributions of one of the most remarkable americans i have ever known. you know, it is difficult to be in politics and the courageous without being sanctimonious.
it is difficult to be a gallant man in politics without seeming pompous. and it is difficult to constantly reaching out for common ground of wondering if you have let your principles behind. but dan inouye did all this and more. those of us who knew him can be grateful for so many things. for hillary and me, he was first and foremost a friend, an adviser, something that both of us will cherish forever. i thought i knew a little bit about hawaii when i had carried the state twice and i went back one day and he said, you know, you have not paid enough
attention to to the okinawas. they have a distinct community here, and i said, well, senator, what do you think i should do about it? i know what you are doing today. they are having a festival today and you are going into our spirit and i did. when hillary became senator, he was so help for to hurt in trying to be irresponsible member of the armed services committee, because of the concerns they had for national defense. i never will forget it. then, he did not care whether the sun was shining or the storm was waging. he was not -- he did not care whether he was up or down or sideways. he was just there. it is almost impossible now to find someone who makes a life in public service who seems
literally every day to be totally oblivious to whether he gets one of press coverage, but then all of the sudden, when the country is down and out and when we are on the ropes and when we had to be paid, when we were going to the agony of the watergate or iran-contra, or all these other things he did come out the speech he gave in chicago, which carry referenced, there were people riding in this streets, kids getting their heads beat in, there was dan inouye, telling us what we needed to know. i am so grateful to him for so many things, to have the chance to put around his neck the medal of honor, which was given to him and 21 others almost 50
years too late. it meant a lot to me because, as he knew, my native state had two of those japanese internment camps. and i was grateful that he never tired of sensing when the moment had come to say what needed to be said. and so, think of this -- 10 years ago this spring, on the big island, senator inouye gave the commencement speech, barely two years, not quite two years after 9/11. and he talked about the future of america and the nature of american patriotism. and man who had given so much, whose own patriot system could never be questioned, said this
-- something we should all remember and be grateful to him for -- patriotism is defined as love and devotion to 1's country, but oftentimes it takes as much or not more courage to speak out against our government. it is that of a country that .ompel some to speak out it is the essence of democracy. if we do not prevent dissenting views, much longer will we have had slavery? how much longer with the vietnam war have dragged on, japanese americans still awaiting redress? i hope the mistakes made and the suffering imposed upon japanese at-americans 60 years ago will not be used against arab-
americans as their patriotism is called into question. let us not repeat history. he was a wise, good man. the reason he could be courageous without being sanctimonious, the reason he could be set a generous and old- fashionedly gallant, without being pompous, the reason he could be friends across the aisle and find principles of compromise, is because that is who he was, a whole person, united by his parts. they blew his arm off in world war ii, but they never, never laid a finger on his heart or his mind.
befriended me my whole career. danny inouye, as i was listening to others become i thought about the fact that every high point and low point of my career since i announced for the senate as a 29-year-old kid, your husband, your father, brother, was there for me. running an impossible race and coming to delaware, been there, i did not want to come to the senate's, actually knocking on my door and saying you are going to run for president, could i be your national chairman? and the impact he has had on not just me, but my family, jill,
and particularly my two boys. danny's departure marks the end of an era, generation of men and women, the greatest generation, who literally transformed america and helped reshape the world. and in my view, among them, danny may have been the most unique, the most whole. robert ingersoll said when the will defies fear come in duty throws the gauntlet down to faith. when honor scorns the compromise with death, that is heroism. danny was a heroic figure in every aspect of his life. as so many have referenced
today and all that has been written about danny since he passed, says a man who had to overcome prejudice against japanese-americans just for the right to fight for the country that he loved. in the process of doing that he shows such extraordinary valor and heroism that he was awarded the medal of honor, but i am here to tell you that i think his physical courage was matched by his moral courage. i do not know anybody else i can say that in my personal acquaintance. his physical courage was matched by his moral courage. danny demonstrated that need their prejudice at home nor any bullets abroad could keep him
from accomplishing his goal, which was always about defending his country, but even more importantly, about making his country a better place. always a better place. he tackled one of the most vexing problems at home in the reference made by me yesterday in the rotunda and again here today, as a young kid in law school, listening to danny's speech to the democratic national convention. it seems like it was the only voice of reason that broke through this got awful cloud, and he stood there with such absolute confidence and certitude in the midst of all that was going on, like what he had to say was just self-evident -- how could anybody doubt what
he said? he was in my 36 years in the senate' more trusted by his colleagues than any man or woman i ever served with. i remember when the church committee decided that the intelligence community was out of control and we needed an intelligence committee. i remember being part of as a young kid, because mike mansfield just brought me in to keep be engaged. i remember the discussion was, who would head this new committee to add it was -- new committee? there was no discussion. it was danny ubiyte,' -- it was bandanny inouye.
virtually no discussion. when it came time to deal with watergate, there is that combination of danny inouye, sam ervin, and howard baker. the only person where there was no discussion was danny inouye. same with iran-contra, and why? weiss was it so self-evident to every member of the senate that it should be danny inouye? one thing -- his moral courage. his physical courage reinforced it, but that was not the reason. that e ever doubted danny inouye had such integrity
at his core that he would meet any obligations thrust upon him with absolute steadiness and up to activity. i cannot say that about anyone else, and i have served with great women and men, some of whom are here in this magnificent cathedral here today. it was one of the great honors my lifetime, that i got to the senate young enough and early enough that i could serve with those so-called legends of the enate. a significant portion were still there. even among those women and men, they all knew danny inouye possessed that intangible thing that every leader belongs to
possess -- -- longs to possess. that is that he would never waver from what he thought was right. pretty astounding. it was my pretty -- privilege just to observe and in some small way occasionally participate over the 36 years that i have served next to danny. influences power and ultimately lay in his character. this is said, -- as i said, the uncompromising respect and admiration from his colleagues. can you think of anyone ever,
ever, ever, ever questioned integrity, even in the midst of the bitterness that has enveloped the congress over the last several years? the interesting thing was there were men who respected and had great integrity like mike mansfield and others, but i know no one who was both as a respected and loved as much as danny inouye. love is a word that people are around very easily these days. people talk about loving danny, they meant it in a way that the average american --
i doubt there is anyone here who served with him, with danny inouye, a week before he passed away, where he said, could you do anything for me? i doubt if anybody who would not say, of course, danny, i've well. my mom used to have an expression, and she would say that what is required to have a great character is -- she is to say, joey, it is defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty. you are defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty. no person i ever served with or new since i arrived here had more physical and moral courage
or ever exceeded danny's loyalty to those whom he respected beyond his family. it may seem like a strange thing to say in this cathedral, but with the exception of my colleague -- my father, there were few people i ever looked at and said, i wish i could be more like that man. he is a better man than i am. that is how i looked at danny, and i told him so. in his characteristic way, he told me my judgment was flawed. [laughter] the truth of the matter is there is no one who was a better
man. the highest compliment a man or woman can give to another man or woman is to look at them and say, to their children, to their own children, you see that man? you see that woman? there is not a single character trait they have that i do not wish for you. over 35 years ago, i told that my sons, and i meant it then, and i mean it now. i guess that is why my sons call me separately from different parts of the world when they heard about danny's passing. i knew that it was important them that they knew that he knew them.
think of that pit the impo. how important it is for them to say i knew danny inouye. he knew me. it is one of the treasures of their life. danny inouye knew me. it mattered then. it matters at his passing marks the end of an era. have lost one of the greatest leaders of the greatest generation, and a man who everyone in this cathedral will miss, and a man who taught everyone of us in this cathedral something about ourselves we probably did not know before we met him.
is among mortals. he will dwell with them as their guide. they will be his people, and got himself will be with them the. he will wipe every tear from -- from their eye. death will be no war. -- no more. and the one who was seated on the throne said, i am making all things new. also, he said, like this, but for these words are trustworthy and true. then he said to me, it is done, i am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. to the first press thursday i will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. those who come will inherit these things, and i will be there got and they will be my
day like any other. the sun rose, the sun set, the great work of our democracy carried on, but in a fundamentat was different. it was the first day in many of our lives, certainly my own, the halls of the united states congress was not graced by the presence of daniel inouye. he was elected what i was 2 years old. he was elected to congress a couple years before i was born. he would remain until i left a wife for college.
-- hawaii for college. even though my mother and parents took great pride that they had voted for him, i confess i was not paying much attention to the united states senate at age of 4, 5, or six. it wasn't until i was 11 years old that i recall even learning what a u.s. senator was or if registering. i was that summer vacation with my family, those in hawaii called the mainland. we flew over the ocean, and with my mother, grandmother, my sister was two. we traveled around the country. we went to seattle, we went to disneyland, which was most important.
we traveled to kansas where my grandmother's family was from. we went to chicago and yellowstone. we took greyhound buses. we stayed at local motels or howard johnson's. and if there was a pool, i would be very excited. the vending machine that i was excited about. this was a time when you did not have 24 hours worth of cartoons. it was what my parents decided to watch. my mother would turn on the tv
every night. i can say that i understood everything that was brought to me. but i knew the issues were important. thinking about what we would be as americans. during the course of this ship that lasted about a month, some of this got into my head. the person that fascinated me most was this man of japanese descent with one arm speaking in baritone, full of dignity and grace.
maybe he captivated my attention because my mom explain to this was the center. -- was our senator. he was a upholding what our government was all about. maybe it was a boyhood fascination with the story of how he lost his arm in the war. but i think it was more than that. i was a young boy with a white mom, a black father, raised in indonesia and hawaii. i was beginning to sense how fitting into the world might not be as simple as it might seem. and so, to see this man, this center, this powerful an accomplished person, when it came to what you think the
senator might look like at the time, the way that he commanded the respect of the entire nation, it hinted to me what might be possible for my own life. this was a man that stepped up to serve his country even after his fellow japanese americans were declared enemy aliens. a man that believed in america even when its government did not necessarily believe in him. that meant something to me. it gave me a powerful sense, one that i could not put into words. as i watched the hearings, listening to his piercing
questions night after night, i learned how a democracy was supposed to work. a government of, by, and for the people. nobody is above the law. we have an obligation to hold each other countable. these things that we stand for, the ideals that we hold dear, they are bigger than any one person, party, or politician. nobody communicated that more effectively than danny. just fundamental integrity. he was a proud democrat, most importantly, he was a proud american.
were it not for those insights, plant and i had at the age of 11 -- planted in my head at the age of 11 between disneyland and a trip to yellowstone, i might not have ever considered a career in public service. i might not be standing here today. i think it is fair to say that danny inouye was, perhaps, my earliest political inspiration. and for me to have the privilege of serving, to be elected to the united states senate and arrived, one of my first visits to go to his office and for him to agree to me -- greet me as a
colleague can treat me with the same respect that he treated everybody. he gave me advice on how the senate worked and regaled me with some stories about wartime and his recovery. he was always full of humor, never bitterness. never boastful less. just a matter of fact ha. -- of fact. f-color.them of i probably could not repeat them in a cathedral. if anyone had told his son that
his service had been for the children. the all the sons and daughters that deserve to grow up in a nation that never questioned their patriotism. this is my country, he said. many of us have fought hard for the right to say that. obviously, they describe what it meant for japanese americans, but my point is, when he referred to our sons and daughters, he wasn't just talking about japanese americans. he was talking about all of us. he was talking about those that serve today that might have been excluded in the past. he was talking about me. that's to danny was.
they were values that he had bled for, ideas he had sacrificed for. rightly understood as only someone can that has had been threatened. he had them taken away. the dollar that earned him the highest military decoration. a story so incredible that when you actually read the accounts, you think you could not make this up. it is like out of an action movie. the dollar was so rooted in the deep and abiding love of this country, we believe that we are a single ohana. one family. he devoted his life to making
that family strong. after experiencing the horror of war in himself, he felt a profound connection. it was not unusual to take time out to sit down with the veteran or fellow amputee, trading stories, telling jokes. to heroes, generations apart. tempered in peace. no small measure because of his service, our military will always remain the best in the world. we recognized our sacred obligation to give our veterans the care they deserve. he did not always take credit for the difference that he made. however humble, one of the only landmarks to bear his name is a marine corps mess hall in hawaii. when someone asked him how he wanted to be remembered, he
said, i represented the people of hawaii honestly into the best of my ability. i think i did ok. you were more than ok. you were extraordinary. it has been mentioned that he ended his speech in chicago with the word aloha. to some of us, it may have meant hello, but to others, it may have meant goodbye. those privileged to live in hawaii, aloha means i love you. as someone who has been privileged to live in hawaii, i know that he embodied the very
message of that spirit. it is fitting that it is the last word that he spoke on this earth. he may have been saying goodbye to us, hello to someone waiting on the other side. but it was a final expression, most of all, his love for the family, the friends that he cared so much about, the men and women he was honored to serve with, the country that held a special place in his heart. we remember a man that inspired all of us. his courage, he moved us with compassion, he inspired us with integrity, and he taught so many of us. boy innga a young
will never drive away. for i have come down from heaven, not to do my own well, but the well of him that since may. and this is the will of him that sent me. that i should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raised it up on the last day. this is, indeed, the will of my father, that all who see the sun and believe in him they have eternal life. and i will raise them up on the last day. the gospel of the lord. father,>> in the name of the fa, the sun, and the holy spirit. please be seated.
i read and family, president obama, vice president by then, i thought that senator inouye was indestructible. and if i had not been honored to be at his bedside when he died, i still would not believe that he is gone. he was generous to the very end. he gave me of the great gift of instructive closure. i was with him in alaska at the center stevens memorial service, and he gave one of the most amazing tributes i have covered -- ever herad.
ard. i made him promise he would teach me how to speak like that. he said modestly, what do you mean? i said, i want your eloquence of diction, your brilliance of metaphor. i want your poetry of the imagination. he smiled and dismissed my request. i have the opportunity of reminding him that he still had unfinished work to do with me. i still need your help. i was blessed to be able to hold his hand. i was blessed to be able to recite the structures -- the scriptures.
the last passage of a recited before he transitioned from time into eternity, a passage with words that had been whispered by more people in trouble, spoken in more hospital rooms, and uttered by more dying people than perhaps any other words in scripture. the twenty third psalm. if i was standing behind you, for the lord is my shepherd, i shall not want. he makes me lie down in green pastures. he leads me beside still waters and restores my soul.
he leads me in the path of righteousness for his namesake. even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil. for your with me. your rod and their staff, they comfort me. you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies and to annoy my head with oil. my cup runneth over. surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. and i will dwell in the house of the lord forever. the curtain was soon drawn on
the life of this great american. i offered a prayer. as i headed through rush-hour traffic to try to get back to the capital for a vigil that we have for the newtown,i will fea. for you are with me. i found myself asking, how was it that he was able to walk so confidently? through the valley of the shadows of death. i began to speculate. i thought he could do it because he had them in that valley before.
heard the story of the silver dollar that saved his life. he had then in the valley of shadows before. walking through, not scurrying or jogging or running. with temperament, he could walk through. i said, there has to be more than that. perhaps he was able to walk so confidently in the valley of the shadows because he knew that there was light in that valley. you can't have shadows without light. i remember his breakfast speech only a few weeks ago. he talked about his roots and i knew that he had elimination.
as the dome of the set came in to view, it finally dawned on me why my friend was able to walk so confidently through the valley of shadows. that was because he knew he was not alone, irene. this was not a solo walker. even though i walk through the valley of the shadows, i will fear no evil, for you are with me. the one that walked with him through the valley had promised, i am with you always. he promised, i will never leave you. he was that light in the valley, the companion in the valley, my
good friend. he lived the way he died. grace and dignity. and when i reflect on the serenity with which he transitioned from time into eternity, to think of those words of william cullen bryant. when your coven comes to join, that innumerable caravan where each must choose his chamber in the solemn halls of death. go not like the quarry slave scourged to his guns at night.
-- to his dungeone at eachnight. an unfaltering trust. approach your grave as one with his drapery about him and lies down to pleasant dreams. my dear friend, anthony had it right. the light was gentle. the elements so mixed that nature could stand up and say to all the world, this was the man. god bless you.
>> let us join our purrs with those of the church universal. each in our own language, the prayer that jesus christ has taught us. our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. the kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread. forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the
power, and the glory forever and ever. amen. for our brother daniel, let us pray to our lord jesus christ to said, i am resurrection anion life. you consoled martha and mary in their distress. if draw near to us, dry the tears of those. he wept at the grave of lazarus. comfort us and our sorrow. you raise the dead to life, give to our brothers each alive. -- the eternal life. bring our brotherhood to the joys of heaven. comfort us in our sorrows at the death of our brother.
you, only, are a mortal. the creator and maker of humankind. and we are moral, born of the earth, and to the earth we shall return. you are dust, and to dust you will return. all of us go down to the dust, and even at the grave, we make our solong hallalujah. give rest, oh christ, to your servant with your saints. where sorrow and pain are no more. a sign of life everlasting. we commend your servant daniel, we humbly beseech you, a land of
your own flock, center of your and redeeming. receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious co. of the saints and the like. may the lord bless you and keep you. the lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. the lord lift up his countenance on you and give you peace. let us go forth in the name of christ. ♪
president. it is the student camera video competition. >> there is a grand prize at the deadline is january 18. for more information, go to studentcam.org. >> the president thinks he can reach an agreement with conference and in a news conference, he said taxes will have to increase on the wealthy. you can see this statement tonight at 8:00 eastern. and right after that, house speaker john boehner. he said he is willing to work with democrats on the fiscal cliff and he called for an overhaul of the tax code. in the meantime, a discussion of what it would mean for medicare payments to doctors. >> as we continue our series on the fiscal cliff, we want to look at what we can expect.
we want to talk about the formula now in place. many people said if you want to understand what happens, you have to understand the politics. >> is something we had about a decade ago. back in 1997, there is a formula figured out for doctors. it was for the health care costs. it worked for about five years until the cost of health care was based on formula. and we have seen is congress passing this, making up the difference between the formula and what it says doctors should pay and the salaries. we get to the end of a year, there is an impending jack. doctors will see their salaries go down by 26.5%. it is one of these things every year, people think it is not a
good idea. but we never quite do it. it is something that we face every year. >> if nothing happens next year, the cost is estimated to be $25 billion. and over two years, and excess of $41 billion. >> congress doesn't like to do these things on paper, we're looking for other cuts that we can make. if you want this for the next decade, it goes up to $244 billion. >> what does that mean in terms of accepting medicare patients? >> every year, this comes a debate. you generally don't see doctors at the end of the year saying that this is crazy. you do have a lot of surveys
that say, i am not going to accept patients. we haven't really seen that phenomenon play out every year in washington. >> they have come through with the sustainable growth rate, what is that? how does that play into all of this? >> this was created back in 1997. they thought it would determine how much doctors get paid, they have tried and failed. it worked for about five years, and the cost of health care replaces them. the sustainable growth rate proved not to be very sustainable at all. each year, we had to do these multibillion-dollar payments to
shore up the formula. >> what led to this? >> it was back in 2002, the first time that the sustainable growth rate was too small and doctors took a pay cut that year. we decided we don't want to give doctors a pay cut, we want them to keep seeing medicare patients. it has grown year after year and become kind of a bigger budget item as medicare has more patience. >> how is washington preparing? and i want to ask you about doctors specifically. >> there is a lot of talk about it at the end of the year. this is just one of many issues for congress. even though it has become bigger, 80 years -- there is less about it right now. you see doctors on the hill lobbying about the issue, you want to make sure that the pay
cut doesn't go through. and also they want to make sure the programs they care about don't get cut. certain reimbursement levels are not being lost for them. >> back in 2002, they did not implement it and it has not happened cents. what led to the inaction years ago? >> that might not be the greatest source, but my understanding is that this is the first year it hasimplement . we were not looking at a 26% cut. folks caught us a little off- guard. in 2003, you see people say we are not taking the cut again. >> if you are a physician facing this in january? >> there have been a few times where they have surpassed the
deadline by a few weeks and medicare has held off. if we aren't able to get this fixed by january 1, you might be looking at some delayed claims, somewe were not kind of disrupte billing process. even passed a few months of funding for the annual growth rate, business would pretty much continue as normal. >> the health care reporter for the washington post. >> you can see president obama and the speaker in a little over five minutes. and more on the cliff with tomorrow morning's washington journal. we will talk about the washington times and how the automatic tax increases and spending cuts might be prevented. and the editorial board member on the speaker's so-called plan
b proposal to extend tax cuts under $1 million a year. also, the author of columbine joins us to discuss mass shootings. it starts tomorrow morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. right now, a look at the pentagon spending cuts that are part of the fiscal cliff. >> we are continuing our series, looking at different parts of the talks. we want to focus on sequestration and what it means for the pentagon. the analyst at bloomberg government, let's begin with what it means. >> it is kind of a funny turn. if you google ed, it means a sort of these automatic cuts that go into effect as a result
of last year's budget control act. these automatic cuts go into place. >> give us a little bit more history. how did this come about? >> last year's budget control act, there is a crisis over raising the debt ceiling and there were the republicans in congress that demanded some cuts. they agreed to about one trillion dollars in cuts and they handed over 1.5 trillion to what is called the super committee. because it failed to come up with the deal that can be approved by congress and the president, these cuts go into effect. they are split between defense spending and non-defense spending. the first cuts go into effect on january 2, 2013. >> how are the defense
sequestration cuts being applied? >> we are not exactly sure, but the law the harkens back to the 1980's says that every program project and activity must be helped by the same percentage. it is not always clear what it means, and there might need to be some flexibility. but if you go across the board and cut everything, and that is estimated to be about 9.4%. >> what is on the table? what gets cut? >> everything can be, but the president has the power to exempt military personnel. basically the salaries and other form of men and women in uniform. everything else is basically on the table. including even though you
protect the service members' salaries, health care is part of the operations maintenance budget. procurement is the things that the pentagon buys. again, all those programs like a fighter jet for the summary for the navy, that is on the table as well. >> military construction is the money the military spends to build bases and various other facilities. >> is that big money? >> it can be big money. those dollars are also on the table. >> what is not on the table? >> military retirement, the tensions that go to military men
and women, the disability payments and things like that are not on the table. everything else in the budget is pretty much on the table. they can't close bases because of a law. the law says that they can't close the base, but they can downsize. it will require similar to what we had in the past, realignment. >> the last bullet point we're showing viewers, funding for the war in afghanistan is not on the table. >> it technically is, but the pentagon said they would move money if they had to. we will get everything we need.
>> who makes the decision about what gets cut? >> it will probably give some and german -- interpretation. it might mean different things in different areas. in procurement, it will probably mean every weapons system equally. it could give the pentagon a lot of latitude to decide where they want to cut things. >> sequestration, if it goes through, in 2013, we talk about $109 billion. >> is $109 billion split between the pentagon and non-defense spending. 24 -- $54.7 billion for the
pentagon. >> what impact will that have? bea lot of this money won't spent in 2013. it is probably about $30 billion that will actually be felt. but there will be some impact. like health care. it is like $3 billion you have to take out of health care. he still have the same number of people to serve. senior health officials say there is no good way to do this. will probably make it fall of retired military personnel as opposed to active duty. that money is spent every year, right away. that money is often spread out over a long number of years. you don't feel the pain quite as quickly. >> president o